DENVER — The Denver Broncos are bringing back Gary Kubiak as a senior personnel executive where he will essentially fill a scouting role, a coaching source told KUSA.
The source said Kubiak will be based at his home near Houston, Texas, while occasionally visiting Broncos headquarters for meetings. Kubiak is expected to specialize in evaluating college players for the draft while also contributing as part of NFL free agency efforts.
The hire only makes sense. No one understands the top-end of the Broncos’ football operations department better than Kubiak. He was general manager John Elway’s head coach the previous two years, guiding the Broncos to a combined 21-11 record and a Super Bowl 50 title following the 2015 season.
Kubiak was also previously a head coach for the Houston Texans, where his secondary coach for three seasons was Vance Joseph, the Broncos’ current head coach.
When Kubiak first became the Broncos’ head coach in 2015, he tried to hire Joseph as his defensive coordinator.
Kubiak was forced to resign from coaching last season for medical reasons. While coaching for Houston in 2013, Kubiak suffered a transient ischemic attack, or mini-stroke, as he was walking off the field during halftime of a game against Indianapolis.
While coaching for the Broncos last season, Kubiak suffered another episode in the locker room following a week 5 loss at Atlanta. He was taken away by ambulance and admitted to a local hospital where he was diagnosed with a complex migraine.
Kubiak missed one game then turned over offensive game-planning duties the rest of the season to top assistant coaches Rick Dennison and Greg Knapp. On Christmas Eve, Kubiak summoned Elway into his Kansas City-area hotel room to inform his boss and long-time friend he was resigning from coaching at season’s end.
At his retirement press conference Jan. 2, Kubiak indicated he wanted to stay involved with the game.
“I’m getting out of coaching, but I have a lot to give,’’ Kubiak said then. “I’m going to find something else to do and I’m going to wake up with that same passion and do that, just like I’ve coached for the last 20-something years.’’
That something else is helping Elway and Joseph find quality players. Kubiak is good at it. See, Trevor Siemian. While watching Northwestern play Notre Dame from his hotel TV in a November 15, 2015, Kubiak was glued to the Wildcat quarterback who was throwing the ball well despite a ranked opponent and miserable conditions in South Bend, Indiana.
The Broncos stole Siemian with a late, compensatory pick in the seventh and final round of the 2015 draft. He wound up beating out veteran Mark Sanchez and first-round rookie Paxton Lynch last year and threw for 18 touchdowns and 3,401 yards during the season.
Siemian will compete with Lynch for the starting job beginning Thursday with the opening of training camp.
During Kubiak’s seven-month respite, the Broncos remained in his blood. He has two sons employed with the team. Klint Kubiak is an offensive assistant/quarterbacks coach and Klein Kubiak is a southwest area scout – where he is sure to be cross-checking his dad’s work.