Super Bowl 50: How Broncos coach Gary Kubiak can make NFL history

If the Broncos beat the Panthers on Sunday, Gary Kubiak will do more than just hoist the Lombardi Trophy. He'll also make NFL history by joining two exclusive lists.

Kubiak, the head coach of the Broncos, can become just the fourth head coach to win a Super Bowl during his first season with a team and the third former quarterback to win a title as a head coach. And, regardless if the Broncos win, Kubiak's already made history. He's the first person to go to a Super Bowl as a player and head coach with the same team, per the Broncos' Patrick Smyth.

Three other head coaches in NFL history have won a Super Bowl during their first season as their team's head coach. Those three coaches are ...

  • Don McCafferty with the Colts in 1970

  • George Seifert with the 49ers in 1989

  • Jon Gruden with Buccaneers in 2002

(Of note: Seifert's 49ers beat the Broncos. Kubiak served as a backup quarterback on that Denver team).

Of those three coaches, McCafferty and Seifert were in their first year ever as a head coach. Gruden was in his first year with the Buccaneers, but had previously been the coach of the Raiders. Kubiak finds himself in a similar situation, having served as the Texans head coach from 2006 to 2013.

As for the second piece of history on the line, Kubiak can join Sean Payton and Tom Flores as the only other former quarterbacks to win a Super Bowl as a head coach. Flores -- a quarterback who played in 106 games -- won two titles as the coach of the Raiders in 1980 and 1983, while Payton -- a quarterback for three career games -- won as the coach of the Saints in 2009.

Kubiak played for the Broncos from 1983 to 1991, but started just five games. As a player, Kubiak went winless in three Super Bowls. However, he's won three championships as an assistant coach.

This will be Kubiak's first Super Bowl as a head coach. And if he wins, he'll enter his name into the history books.

Stats for this article provided by STATS.

Gary Kubiak can put his name on two short lists with a win on Sunday. (USATSI)
CBS Sports Writer

Sean Wagner-McGough joined CBS Sports in 2015 after graduating from UC Berkeley. A native of Seattle, Sean now resides in the Bay Area. He spends his spare time defending Jay Cutler on Twitter. Full Bio

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