MINNEAPOLIS — Rumors had been swirling about Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak's future, but on Thursday the former Super Bowl-winning coach made it official by announcing his retirement after 36 years in the NFL.
Kubiak, who won four Super Bowls as a coach, including one as a head coach, joined the Vikings in 2019 as an assistant head coach and offensive advisor. Kubiak worked closely with then offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski to help guide the Vikings into the playoffs and a win over the New Orleans Saints in the NFC wild-card round.
Kubiak then took over the play-calling duties when Stefanski was hired as the head coach for the Cleveland Browns.
"It's been the honor of a lifetime to work for 36 seasons as an NFL player and coach," Kubiak said in a statement posted on the team's Twitter page. "I've been on a football field for most of my life, and now I look forward to stepping away from the game and enjoying more time with my family."
Kubiak was the head coach for the Denver Broncos' 24-10 win over the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50 before retiring a year later, citing health issues.
Prior to coaching the Broncos, Kubiak was a quarterbacks coach for the San Francisco 49ers, an offensive coordinator for the Baltimore Ravens and the Broncos, and a head coach for the Houston Texans.
After two years away from the game, Kubiak returned to football as a member of the Vikings' coaching staff.
"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 part of this great game and for treating me and my family so well over the years," Kubiak said in a statement. "I'll miss the competition, the planning, game days, and being part of a team. But, more than anything, I'll cherish the friendships I've made along the way with players, coaches and staff. I love the game of football and will forever be its biggest fan."
Kubiak's retirement means the Vikings will be searching for their fifth offensive coordinator in as many years.
"Gary did a tremendous job with us at the Vikings over the past two seasons," said Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer in a statement. "I have a great deal of respect for him as a coach and as a person and I'm glad I was able to coach with him. He has had one heck of an NFL career as a player, assistant coach and head coach and I am really happy for Gary and his wife Rhonda as they head off to their ranch. We will all miss Gary at the Vikings organization and wish him the very best."
"Gary Kubiak is leaving an impressive legacy in the NFL and his impact will be shown for decades to come in the players he's guided and the coaches he's mentored," said Vikings GM Rick Spielman in a statement. "There's not a better man in our business than Gary. The entire Vikings organization appreciates what Gary did for us and what he has meant to the game."