As the Houston Texans still search for their fourth coach in franchise history, their second coach ever hung up the headset on Thursday.
Gary Kubiak retired for the second time from the NFL as he stepped away from the game. Most recently the 59-year-old was the offensive coordinator for the Minnesota Vikings.
"Utmost congratulations to a truly great man and hell of a football coach,'' Texans legend J.J. Watt wrote on social media, one of many NFL people to do so in honor of Kubiak. "A players coach through and through who knew how to grind when it was time to grind and when to have a beer with you when it was time for a beer.
"A legend who I am honored to have been able to call 'coach.''
Kubiak is the winningest coach in Houston franchise history as he coached nearly eight years for the Texans compiling a 61-64 record. He oversaw the first two AFC South division championships for the team in 2011 and 2012 before he was fired in the midst of an 11-game losing streak in 2013.
He took over for Dom Capers in 2006 and would fail to achieve a winning record in four of his first five seasons. But his offensive style allowed the likes of Ron Dayne, Steve Slaton and Arian Foster to flourish rushing the football. Matt Schaub was regularly a dangerous quarterback under Kubiak. Andre Johnson had the best seasons of his career for Kubiak's Texans.
Foster thanked the coach for the life-changing chance with the Texans.
Watt touted Kubiak's relationship with his players as one of the positives playing under him.
After one season in Baltimore, he would take over as the head coach in Denver. The Broncos would win the Super Bowl in his first season at the helm. He would retire the first time due to health reasons after the next season only to resume coaching in 2019 for the Vikings. Dom Capers, the Texans' first coach, coached in Minnesota as well during the 2020 season.
Kubiak's lasting impact on the game is still present with more than a few of the coaches who were under him in Houston ending up as head coaches. Kyle Shannahan was Kubiak's offensive coordinator in Houston and is now the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers. Matt LaFleur was an offensive assistant and is now the head coach of the Green Bay Packers. Robert Saleh was a coach on defense in Houston under Kubiak. Saleh is now the New York Jets head coach.
The Texans will hope their next coach, the fourth in team history, can achieve what their second coach did in Denver. Win it all.