Vikings OC, ex-Broncos coach Gary Kubiak retires from NFL after 36 seasons

Ryan Young
·3 min read

For the second time in less than five years, Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator and former Denver Broncos head coach Garry Kubiak is stepping away from the NFL.

Kubiak, after spending more than three decades in the league as a player and a coach, announced on Thursday that he will retire.

“It’s been the honor of my lifetime to work for 36 seasons as an NFL player and coach,” Kubiak said in a statement, in part. “I’ve been on a football field for most of my life, and I now look forward to stepping away from the game and enjoying more time with my family and friends.

“I’ll miss the competition, the planning, game days and being part of a team. But, more than anything, I’ll cherish the friendships I’ve made along the way with players, coaches and staff. I love the game of football and will forever be its biggest fan.”

Gary Kubiak retires after decades in the NFL

Kubiak played in the league from 1983-91 for the Broncos, though started just five games in his career while throwing for more than 1,900 yards and 14 touchdowns. He returned to Denver in 1995 and served as its offensive coordinator for a decade after two years on staff at Texas A&M and a year with the San Francisco 49ers.

The Houston native was hired as the Texans’ head coach in 2006, where he spent eight seasons and compiled an 82-75 record. Kubiak was hired by the Broncos in 2015, and led them to a Super Bowl win with Peyton Manning that season — which made him the first person to coach and play in a Super Bowl for the same team in league history.

Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak
Gary Kubiak retired on Thursday after spending more than three decades throughout the NFL. (AP/Andy Clayton-King)

After two seasons in Denver, Kubiak resigned following the 2016 season due to health concerns. He returned a year later as an adviser, and was then hired by Minnesota in 2019 as an offensive adviser before taking over as offensive coordinator this season after Kevin Stefanski was hired to lead the Cleveland Browns.

“Gary did a tremendous job with us at the Vikings over the past two seasons. I have a great deal of respect for him as a coach and as a person and I’m glad I was able to coach with him,” Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said in a statement. “He has had one heck of an NFL career as a player, assistant coach and head coach and I am really happy for Gary and his wife Rhonda as they head off to their ranch.

“We will all miss Gary at the Vikings organization and wish him the very best.”

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