It's official, Gary Kubiak has decided to retire.
The Broncos coach let his players know following the team's 24-6 win over the Raiders on Sunday. Broncos tight end Virgil Green said he was shocked when he heard to the news. According to 9news.com, players in the locker room got emotional after Kubiak's announcement.
Multiple players say there were tears as Kubiak told them he was "stepping down." #9sports— Mike Klis (@MikeKlis) January 2, 2017
BREAKING: Broncos players confirm head coach Gary Kubiak says he's stepping down for health reasons.— The Associated Press (@AP) January 2, 2017
Despite the fact that Denver (9-7) had nothing to play for and the Raiders (12-4) had a chance to clinch a first-round bye in the playoffs, the Broncos were still able to dominate and get a win for Kubiak in his final game as Denver's coach.
After the game, Kubiak said that he would formally address his retirement situation on Monday.
"There was some emotion [on the sideline]," Kubiak said of coaching in his final game. "We'll deal with that a little bit more tomorrow."
Although Kubiak's retirement seems like it came out of nowhere, there had been speculation recently that he might step down due to continuing health issues that he's been facing. During his final press conference of the regular season on Friday, Kubiak sidestepped a question about possible retirement.
During his meeting with the team on Sunday, Kubiak stressed to the players that he was stepping aside because of how much he's been through this year, according to NFL.com.
That hospitalization marked the second time in three years that Kubiak has dealt with a health issue during the NFL season. Back in 2013, when he was coaching the Texans, Kubiak fainted on the sideline just before halftime of a game in Houston. After being admitted to the hospital for that episode, doctors found that Kubiak had suffered a transient ischemic attack, or a mini-stroke.
Following one season in Baltimore, Kubiak was offered the head coaching job in Denver to help the Broncos get over the Super Bowl hump. Before Kubiak's arrival, John Fox and Peyton Manning spent three seasons together (2012-14), but weren't able to win a Super Bowl.
After the 2014 season, Broncos general manager John Elway wanted some new blood on the coaching staff, so he dumped Fox and brought in Kubiak. Despite the fact that Kubiak was stuck with a quarterback who was a shell of his former self in Manning, the Broncos coach was still able to lead Denver to its first Super Bowl win in 17 years.
Kubiak's ability to juggle the Broncos' fragile quarterback situation in 2015 was a big reason why the team was able to top the Panthers in Super Bowl 50.
With Kubiak now retiring, his coaching career will come to an end after 33 years in the NFL. Kubiak's career started as a player in 1983 when the Broncos made him an eight-round pick in the NFL Draft. After retiring in 1991, the former quarterback joined the Broncos coaching staff as an assistant in 1995.
Kubiak then spent 10 years with the Broncos before being hired as the Texans head coach in 2006. Kubiak then spent eight seasons in Houston before moving on to Baltimore and Denver.
The head coach will end his career with an overall record of 81-75.