With 2016 ending and a new year beginning, we’re saying our fair share of goodbyes to both the good and the bad: President Obama leaves office, your best friend is going vegan and, for all the Broncos fanatics out there, head coach Gary Kubiak retires. For the rest of us who don’t really follow football, nonetheless the Broncos, allow me to catch you up on the latest Broncos Nation news.
Mr. Kubiak’s reason for retiring none can claim as his fault. NFL’s website reports that in the winter of 2013, during an official NFL game, Mr. Kubiak collapsed on the ground to what was later diagnosed as a stroke. Even though he continued to coach, and eventually won Super Bowl 50, his health was always a concern. Finally, on Jan. 1, 2017 after an emotional end-of-season win over the Raiders he said in a press conference, “It’s time for me to step away.”
Mr. Kubiak is a hardcore Broncos fan. The man practically bleeds blue and orange. According to denverbroncos.com, Mr. Kubiak played for the Broncos as a backup quarterback from 1983-1991, and served as an offensive coordinator from 1995-2005 and as head coach in 2015 and 2016. He took a mini hiatus and coached offense for the Houston Texans from 2006-2013. Regardless, with the Broncos he participated in seven Super Bowls and won four of them with Super Bowl 50 during his first year as head coach. Impressive indeed.
To capture a glimpse of what Bronco Nation felt after he gave his parting words, I interviewed some of you who claim the Broncos as their own.
Tyler Dean, a junior business major, said, “Gary Kubiak will be missed. He brought something to last year's Broncos team that the previous coach (John Fox) simply couldn't fire. He took an already talented, cohesive playoff team and got them over the final hurdle. However, he's not irreplaceable.”
Dean added, “The Broncos have all the talent they need to be great again next year. They don't need a great coach, they just need one who keeps the team together (like Kubiak did last year) and can manage the offense. The key this offseason will be keeping Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips. Even though coach Kubiak leaving will be rough, the Broncos will be fine next year as long as they don't pick up a terrible coach.”
According to 9news.com what General Manager John Elway, and ultimately the Bronco franchise, is looking for in a head coach is what Mr. Kubiak brought to the table: overall quality leadership, teaching ability and a balanced approach to the game.
While the search continues, Bronco Nation is optimistic and has faith in their team and in their General Manager John Elway to continue the Bronco legacy.
Junior business administration major Chloe Blackburn chimed in. “Although we're bummed he's leaving, it's a completely understandable decision, due to his health,” she said. “The team will be just fine under the care of General Manager John Elway in finding a new head coach. I'm really excited about the few potential coaches we may get to have next season. I know the Broncos will come back next season even stronger.”
And finally, Zak Luk, a senior biomedical science major concluded, “As long as the Broncs have John Elway I think we're gonna be just fine. He's given us rings before so I'm not too worried.”
Sean Hendrix is a senior studying biomedical science.