Less than a year later, he is on his way out.
According to NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport, Kubiak has informed the team he is retiring following Sunday's season finale against the Raiders, per a source informed of the coach message in Denver. Kubiak told reporters multiple times Sunday afternoon that he will address his situation on Monday.
Kubiak suffered from a complex migraine condition this season, which required hospitalization. He also suffered a miniature stroke back in 2013 as the head coach of the Houston Texans. His health is likely at the forefront of this move, which will cause one of the league's most successful franchises to search for a head coach yet again. Rapoport reported that Dolphins defensive coordinator Vance Joseph should be considered for the opening.
A Super Bowl-ready defense will inevitably go through some changes this offseason too, but the core will remain. Von Miller is still the most explosive game-changing pass rusher in football, and a slew of capable cornerbacks like Chris Harris and Bradley Roby will remain in Denver to aid the transition. While it is never correct to assume that a unit could run on auto pilot, this defense might the closest thing to a self-sustaining entity that we have in football.
The offense will take some figuring out. Thanks to some fine moments by quarterback Trevor Siemian and the upside of 2016 first-round pick Paxton Lynch, this part of the job will not scare any coaches away. Denver still boasts a pair of game-breaking wide receivers and a running game that should be able to rebuild itself after an injury-plagued 2016 season.
There is always one surprise each yeah when it comes to head coaching turnover and this might be it. Kubiak won Super Bowl 50 as a head coach and three others -- XXIX, XXXII and XXXIII -- as an assistant. Interestingly enough, every Super Bowl he went to as a player, his team lost. His easily identifiable offense will leave a mark in NFL history, especially his ingenuity last season during their Super Bowl 50 run. Though that year was much more about Wade Phillips' defense, Kubiak deserves credit for expertly navigating a less-than-ideal quarterback situation. He adjusted the scheme run by Peyton Manning, who had essentially been operating as his own offensive coordinator for a decade leading up to that season.
The 55-year-old has an 82-75 career record as a head coach.