Houston (CBS Houston) – Gary Kubiak faces the team he coached for eight seasons when the Texans face the Broncos on Monday night.
In those eight seasons for Kubiak, there were good times, and there were some bad times.
Back-to-back playoff appearances, and AFC South championships, in 2011 and 2012 are at the top of the positives that Kubiak brought to the Texans. Despite the Texans being eliminated in the AFC Divisional round, the Texans reached unchartered waters in both those seasons.
The pinnacle of Kubiak’s career came last season when he coached the Broncos to a Super Bowl title in his first season as the Denver head coach.
“Anytime you win a Super Bowl as a head coach, it’s hard enough to win one game in this league, so you go out there and win a Super Bowl. I think that says a lot about you as a coach,” Texans head coach Bill O’Brien said.
Kubiak’s tenure as the Texans’ head coach came crashing down in 2013 when he won just two games and was fired during the season.
One of the lasting images of that season was Kubiak collapsing as he walked towards the locker room after the first half against a game against the Colts. Kubiak was stretchered off the field and taken by ambulance to the hospital. Eventually, it was diagnosed that Kubiak suffered a transient ischemic attack, or more commonly known as a mini-stroke.
Ironically, Monday’s game against the Texans, will be the first for Kubiak since missing last week’s loss against the Chargers. After the Broncos’ week five game against the Falcons, Kubiak was sent to the hospital as a precaution of flu-like symptoms, which was later diagnosed as a complex migraine condition.
Outside of those closest to Kubiak, no one will truly know how he feels about playing his former team, but he downplayed the significance on Thursday, and instead was thankful of the opportunity Bob McNair gave him.
“I have a great respect for the organization, Mr. McNair and the family, and the opportunities he gave me as a person and a coach,” Kubiak said. “Battled with a lot of people there, a lot of people that are still there, that’s a part of this league.”