Houston Texans: Gary Kubiak had success with franchise

Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /
Gary Kubiak, Houston Texans
Gary Kubiak Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /

From 2006-13, the head coach of the Houston Texans was Gary Kubiak. On Thursday, after 30-plus years in the NFL with various franchises as a player and coach, including winning a Super Bowl with the Denver Broncos, Kubiak officially retired from the NFL.

Kubiak didn’t have a winning record with the Houston Texans as he was 61-64 overall, which was a .488 winning percentage. His Texans teams were 2-2 in the playoffs, and five times Kubiak led the Texans to a .500 or better overall record.

Kubiak was also the second head coach in franchise history — replacing Dom Capers — and in 2011 and 2012 he led the Houston Texans to consecutive AFC South championships as the head coach.

One fun fact about Kubiak as the head coach of the Houston Texans was he was at the helm for the first non-losing season in franchise history, which was his second year as the head coach, with the Texans going 8-8 in 2007.

In Kubiak’s eight seasons with the Houston Texans, the team was .500 on two occasions (’07, ’08) and had winning records in 2009 (9-7), 2011 (10-6) and 2012 (12-4). In 2013, the Texans finished 2-11 under Kubiak in 13 games before he was not brought back as the head coach.

Houston Texans: Gary Kubiak won a Super Bowl in Denver

After coaching the Houston Texans in 2015, Kubiak was the head coach of the Denver Broncos, and with Peyton Manning as his starting quarterback, the Broncos were Super Bowl champions.

Kubiak eventually ended his coaching career in the NFL as the offensive coordinator of the Minnesota Vikings this past season, giving him a total of 36 seasons of coaching or playing in the NFL.

In a statement posted by the Minnesota Vikings, Kubiak said the following when announcing his retirement:

"“I offer my sincere thanks to the owners and fans of the Minnesota Vikings, Denver Broncos, Baltimore Ravens, Houston Texans and San Francisco 49ers for giving me opportunities to be a part of this great game and for treating me and my family so well over the years.”"

All in all when looking back at his career with the Houston Texans, there is the argument that Kubiak is the greatest coach in franchise history, as he and Bill O’Brien are the only two coaches in Texans history who have won division championships for the franchise. Kubiak won two, and O’Brien won four.

The ending of the career as the Houston Texans head coach wasn’t the greatest for Kubiak, but he never got to coach a quarterback the likes of Deshaun Watson while in Houston either, which would be been very interesting to see.

Kubiak did get the opportunity to coach two of the greatest Texans of all time in Andre Johnson and J.J. Watt, and for a good amount of his time with the franchise, Matt Schaub was his starting quarterback.

The Texans just never could get past the divisional round of the playoffs with Kubiak (or any other head coach since), but he was good for the Texans, and overall his teams will be remembered for earning the first two playoff wins in team history.

Kubiak deserves a great sendoff from the NFL, and eventually many will come to respect the overall job he did with the Texans.

Sure, there was more to be had, and some of the losses hurt more than others, but overall with a near record of .500 as the second head coach in Houston Texans history, Kubiak helped the franchise become competitive and win a division championship during his tenure.

Kubiak made the Houston Texans a better franchise than when he arrived, and when taking over for such a young franchise, looking back, that must have been a tough task overall for a first-time head coach.

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Enjoy your retirement, Coach Gary Kubiak … it is well-deserved.