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Gary Kubiak
Head Coach
Texas A&M
Houston, Texas

Gary Kubiak has transformed the Houston Texans from a two-win club into back-to-back AFC South division champions and one of the most well-rounded teams in the NFL since taking the reins as head coach in 2006. Kubiak’s offensive system has consistently ranked among the NFL’s best and he has used a talented roster and coaching staff to key the ascension of Houston’s defense.

Kubiak was named the AFC Coach of the Year by Kansas City-based NFL 101 after leading the Texans to a 10-6 regular season record and the franchise’s first AFC South division crown, playoff berth and playoff win in 2011. The Houston native followed up that landmark campaign in 2012 with a 12-4 record, another AFC South crown and a second consecutive trip to the Divisional round of the playoffs. He has a franchise-record 61 wins (including the playoffs) since being named the second head coach of the Houston Texans on Jan. 26, 2006.

Gary Kubiak has transformed the Houston Texans from a two-win club into back-to-back AFC South division champions and one of the most well-rounded teams in the NFL since taking the reins as head coach in 2006. Kubiak’s offensive system has consistently ranked among the NFL’s best and he has used a talented roster and coaching staff to key the ascension of Houston’s defense.

Kubiak was named the AFC Coach of the Year by Kansas City-based NFL 101 after leading the Texans to a 10-6 regular season record and the franchise’s first AFC South division crown, playoff berth and playoff win in 2011. The Houston native followed up that landmark campaign in 2012 with a 12-4 record, another AFC South crown and a second consecutive trip to the Divisional round of the playoffs. He has a franchise-record 61 wins (including the playoffs) since being named the second head coach of the Houston Texans on Jan. 26, 2006.

The Texans have had the five best seasons in franchise history under Kubiak’s guidance, going 8-8 in 2007 and 2008 before producing the first winning season in team history in 2009 at 9-7, and the 2011 and 2012 playoff seasons. Kubiak’s tenure has been marked by offensive proficiency, producing the top six scoring, total offense and passing season marks in franchise history from 2007-12. Houston and Denver are the only two teams in the NFL to produce at least one top-five total offense, rushing offense and passing offense performance since 2008. The top three rushing seasons in franchise history have come on Kubiak’s watch as well, including a franchise-record 153.0 yards per game in 2011, which ranked second in the NFL.

Four of the Texans’ top five defensive seasons have come under Kubiak, including the third-largest defensive turnaround in NFL history from 2010 to 2011. The 2011 Texans gave up 285.7 yards per game to rank second in the League after giving up 376.9 yards per game and ranking 30th in 2010.

Strong team performances on offense and defense have been sparked by some outstanding individual efforts under Kubiak. Twenty-six of the 30 Pro Bowl elections in team history have come during Kubiak’s tenure and the Texans are the only team in the NFL to have produced a rushing, receiving, passing and sack leader since Kubiak became head coach. 

One of Kubiak’s primary goals upon arriving in Houston was to create a home field advantage at Reliant Stadium, and he has made significant strides in that direction. The Texans have posted a 37-21 (.638) home record since 2006, including a 2-0 record in the playoffs, and have had at least a .500 record at home in each of Kubiak’s seven seasons. The team was 10-22 (.315) at home prior to Kubiak’s arrival.

Kubiak’s squad produced a number of team and individual franchise milestones in 2012. The Texans set franchise records with a 12-4 record, 26.0 points per game and an AFC-best nine Pro Bowl selections. Second-year defensive end J.J. Watt led the NFL with 20.5 sacks and became the first player in franchise history be voted Associated Press Defensive Player of the Year. Wide receiver Andre Johnson had a resurgent season and led the AFC with 1,598 yards receiving. Left tackle Duane Brown, left guard Wade Smith and center Chris Myers were selected to the Pro Bowl from the offensive line. Brown and Watt were both AP First Team All-Pro selections.

Houston was one of two teams to rank in the top 10 in the NFL in both offense and defense (seventh in both) in the regular season. It also marked the first time in the 52-year history of professional football in the city of Houston that a franchise won home playoff games in back-to-back seasons.

In 2011, Houston’s offense battled through a glut of maladies to reach the playoffs for the first time, including season-ending injuries to quarterbacks Matt Schaub and Matt Leinart. Despite the injuries, Houston posted a franchise-record seven-game winning streak, ranked second in the NFL in rushing and became the first team since 2003 to win three consecutive games with three different starting quarterbacks. Rookie quarterback T.J. Yates led a stretch run to the playoffs, while cornerback Johnathan Joseph, Myers and defensive end Antonio Smith earned their first trips to the Pro Bowl, and running back Arian Foster earned his second consecutive selection. The Texans defeated Cincinnati 31-10 in the franchise’s first playoff game on Jan. 7, 2012 at Reliant Stadium.

The Texans experienced key injuries on defense and a number of last-minute losses to finish the 2010 season at 6-10. While the 2010 season fell short of expectations, the Texans set a team record for total offense for the fourth consecutive season and ranked third in the NFL, averaging 386.6 yards per game. Houston was the only AFC team to rank in the top 10 in both rushing (seventh with 127.6 yards per game) and passing (fourth with 259.0 yards per game).

The offense produced three Pro Bowl selections in 2010, with the backfield combination of Foster and fullback Vonta Leach making their first trips to Hawaii, while Johnson fought through injury to make his fifth Pro Bowl. Foster re-wrote the team single-game and season rushing records on the way to becoming the Texans’ first-ever NFL rushing champion. The former practice squad player set an NFL record for an undrafted back with 1,616 yards rushing and also led the League with 2,220 yards from scrimmage and 18 total touchdowns.

Foster’s breakout year was complemented by Schaub becoming the 12th player in NFL history to throw for 4,000-plus yards in back-to-back seasons; and the duo became just the second pair of teammates in NFL history to lead the League in passing yards one year and rushing yards the next. 

Kubiak guided the Texans to a 9-7 record in 2009, highlighted by a season-ending four-game win streak to capture the franchise’s first winning season. Houston narrowly missed its first-ever playoff berth, losing a tie-breaker for the final spot on the last day of the season. The 2009 Texans set franchise records for total offense, scoring offense, total defense and scoring defense. A then-franchise-record five players earned trips to the Pro Bowl, led by Pro Bowl MVP Schaub.

The 2008 Texans matched their record from the year before, going 8-8 despite starting the season 0-4 in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike, which devastated much of Houston and southeast Texas. Houston became just the 10th team in NFL history to finish at .500 or better after losing four games to start a season. The offense enjoyed its most productive season, ranking third in the NFL and setting a franchise record with 6,113 total yards.  

In Kubiak’s second season, the team achieved the best record in franchise history to that point, finishing 8-8. The Texans won three of their last four and five of their last seven to finish the season at .500. Kubiak’s team also set a franchise mark with a 6-2 record at Reliant Stadium after going 4-4 at home in 2006, which was the best home mark at the time.

In his rookie season, Kubiak tripled the team’s win total of the previous year, guiding the club to a 6-10 record. The six victories included wins in three of the last five and the franchise’s first win against Indianapolis. All six wins came against AFC opponents, giving the Texans their most wins against conference foes in team annals to that point.

Kubiak came to Houston with the reputation of being an offensive mastermind and has lived up to that billing. In 112 regular-season games under Kubiak, Houston has averaged 358.4 yards per game, which ranks second in the AFC and sixth in the NFL, compared to an average of 266.5 yards per game from 2002-05, which was last in the AFC and 31st in the NFL. Houston has averaged 23.1 points per game under Kubiak to rank fourth in the AFC and is 6.9 points per game better than before his arrival.

The most dramatic improvement has been made by the offensive line. After giving up a League-worst 68 sacks in 2005, the line has allowed an average of 30.7 per season under Kubiak. This has allowed the passing game to flourish, averaging 240.4 yards per game to rank third in the AFC since 2006. The line also allowed the Texans rushing attack to average 117.9 yards per game during the last six years and has produced an NFL-best 26 100-yard rushing performances by players since 2010.

Kubiak has made a habit of surrounding himself with great coaches throughout his tenure in Houston. One of his first hires in 2006 was former Green Bay head coach Mike Sherman, who served as the assistant head coach/offense and then offensive coordinator in Kubiak’s first two seasons. In 2008, Kubiak bolstered his staff with two of the brightest minds in football, hiring offensive line guru Alex Gibbs as the assistant head coach/offense and 1995 NFL Coach of the Year Ray Rhodes as the assistant defensive backs coach. In 2010, he hired former Denver Broncos teammate and colleague, Rick Dennison, as offensive coordinator. The Texans set a franchise record for total yards in 2010 and have posted the top three rushing seasons in franchise history since Dennison’s arrival.

In 2011, Kubiak added one of the most respected defensive minds in the game, Wade Phillips, as defensive coordinator. Phillips implemented his 3-4 defensive scheme that has now led teams to the playoffs in his first year coaching at each of his last eight stops, including the 2011 Texans.

As head coach, Kubiak has also been responsible for the performance of the defense, which is stocked full of talent, including five starters with Pro Bowl experience. The 2009 AP Defensive Rookie of the Year, Brian Cushing, led the team in tackles in three of his first four seasons. Watt had one of the best defensive seasons in NFL history in 2012 with 20.5 sacks, 16 passes defensed, 39 tackles for loss and 42 quarterback hits on the way to earning nearly every major award. Veteran cornerback Johnathan Joseph has made the Pro Bowl each of the last two seasons.

Now former Texans, outside linebacker Mario Williams and inside linebacker DeMeco Ryans, the 2006 AP Defensive Rookie of the Year, were the first two draft picks of the Kubiak era, and they set the tone for an excellent track record on draft day. Following the lead of Ryans and Williams, tight end Owen Daniels gave the Texans a League-best three Pro Bowlers from the 2006 draft class. Former right tackle Eric Winston also emerged as a starter from that class. Kubiak’s first draft class started a total of 352 combined games for the Texans from 2006-11.

The Texans’ 2007 draft class was led by former defensive tackle Amobi Okoye, the youngest first-round draft pick in NFL history. Okoye held the franchise rookie sack record with 5.5 until the 2011 season and was the most productive player at that position from that draft class. In 2008, first-round pick Brown started all 16 games at left tackle, while running back Steve Slaton won the rookie rushing title with a franchise-record 1,282 yards. The 2009 class was highlighted by Cushing, cornerback-turned-safety Glover Quin, a fourth-round pick who went on to start 12 games as a rookie, and college free agent Foster. Cornerback Kareem Jackson, the Texans’ first-round pick in 2010, started all 16 games as a rookie and has grown into one of the top-performing cornerbacks in the AFC.

The 2011 draft class, highlighted by the play of Watt, linebacker Brooks Reed and Yates, had the biggest collective impact as rookies in franchise history. Outside linebacker Whitney Mercilus, the 2012 first-round pick out of Illinois, set a franchise rookie record with 6.5 sacks.

Kubiak spent 20 of the previous 23 years in the Denver area, where he earned a reputation as a brilliant offensive strategist. He played in 119 games and tossed 14 touchdowns for the Broncos from 1983-91 as the backup for Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway. During his time as a player in the Mile High City, Kubiak was a part of three teams that reached the Super Bowl.

Kubiak began his coaching career in 1992 as the running backs coach at his alma mater, Texas A&M. Under Kubiak’s watchful eye, running back Greg Hill was named second team All-America his junior year. Hill was selected by the Kansas City Chiefs in the first round of the 1994 draft.

Kubiak started his NFL coaching career as the quarterbacks coach of the San Francisco 49ers in 1994 and guided Hall of Famer Steve Young to his best season as a pro. Young was named the NFL MVP for the second time in his career.

Under Kubiak’s tutelage, Young had a career-high 70.3 completion percentage, threw for 35 touchdowns and 3,969 yards, and set an NFL record with a 112.8 passer rating, a mark that stood for 10 seasons. Young captured Super Bowl XXIX MVP honors by tossing a record six touchdowns in San Francisco’s 49-26 win against the San Diego Chargers.

In the spring of 1995, Kubiak returned to the Broncos as offensive coordinator, where he steered Denver to the organization’s best numbers in team history and helped lead the team to seven postseason trips and two Super Bowl titles in 11 seasons.

Kubiak began his tenure in Denver as the offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach to his former teammate, Elway. Kubiak made an immediate impact as Elway threw for 3,970 yards, the second-best mark of his Hall of Fame career. Elway increased his touchdown passes from 16 in 1994 to 26 in 1995. During the final four years of his career (1995-98), Elway tossed 101 touchdown passes, second only to Brett Favre in that span.

Kubiak’s offense featured one of the best tight ends in NFL history. Shannon Sharpe, who ranks second all-time among tight ends in receptions, receiving yards, and touchdowns, spent seven years under Kubiak. Sharpe, a 2011 Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee, averaged 61 receptions per season in that time and had a career-high 1,107 yards receiving in 1997.

Kubiak’s offenses have always been based on balance. The Broncos’ running game was focused around a strong system instead of an individual. A Broncos runner eclipsed the 1,000-yard rushing mark in 10 of Kubiak’s 11 seasons. Denver saw five different runners rush for more than 1,000 yards, more than any team in the NFL, in that span.

Kubiak turned to Terrell Davis to tote the ball as the Broncos won back-to-back Super Bowls in the late ‘90s. In 1997, Davis became only the fourth running back in NFL history to rush for more than 2,000 yards in a season. During the 1997-98 seasons, he rushed for 3,758 yards, most of any running back in back-to-back campaigns between 1995-2005. Davis’ 2,008 rushing yards in 1997 are the fifth-most in NFL history. He won AP Offensive Player of the Year honors in 1996 and 1998.

Following Elway’s retirement, Kubiak turned his offense over to second-year quarterback Brian Griese, who threw for 3,032 yards in his first season as the Broncos’ starter. In the 2000 season, Griese was named to the Pro Bowl and guided the Broncos’ offense to rank second in the NFL in points scored and total offense.

That same season, Mike Anderson rushed for 1,487 yards, at the time a franchise rookie record. Anderson set the NFL single-game rookie rushing record with 251 yards against the New Orleans Saints. That year, Kubiak’s receivers, Ed McCaffrey (101) and Rod Smith (100), became just the second pair of teammates in NFL history to grab at least 100 receptions.

In 2002, the Broncos drafted running back Clinton Portis in the second round. In his rookie season, Portis rushed for 1,508 yards, breaking Anderson’s rookie mark, and was named the AP Offensive Rookie of the Year. The Broncos’ rushing attack averaged 141.6 yards per game, which ranked second in the AFC. The offense totaled 380.6 yards per game, which was third in the NFL.

Kubiak relinquished his quarterbacks coach title in 2003, turning the duties over to Pat McPherson. That offseason, Denver signed quarterback Jake Plummer from the Arizona Cardinals and Plummer was immediately transformed. Despite missing five games his first season in Denver, Plummer threw for more touchdowns (15) than interceptions (seven) for the second time in his career. The 2004 season saw Plummer throw for 4,089 yards, most in Broncos history. He also tossed 27 touchdown passes, tying Elway’s 1997 club record.

Plummer stayed on his feet in Kubiak’s offense. After being sacked an average of 36 times per season in Arizona, Plummer was sacked an average of 17 times per year in Denver. Every season in Kubiak’s system, Plummer threw more touchdowns than interceptions and led the Broncos to the playoffs from 2003-05.

In 2005, Kubiak’s offense ranked fifth in the NFL with 5,766 total yards and his rushing attack was second in the League, averaging 158.7 yards per game. The Broncos were led by Anderson’s 1,014 yards on the ground and Tatum Bell’s 921 yards. Denver finished 2005 with a 13-3 record, winning their division for the first time since 1998, the last time they appeared in the Super Bowl.

In his 11 years as offensive coordinator, Kubiak’s Broncos amassed 66,501 total yards and 465 touchdowns, most in the NFL in that span. He coached 14 different Broncos who made the Pro Bowl and Denver’s rushing attack totaled 25,022 yards, most in the NFL, during his tenure.

Kubiak has been active in his support of U.S. military services for a number of years. For the past eight years, Kubiak has served as the celebrity spokesperson for Impact A Hero, a non-profit organization that provides a means to provide emotional and financial support for severely wounded and disabled War on Terror veterans and their families. He participated in the Eighth Annual Impact A Hero 5k Run, Walk and Wheel on June 2, 2012. In June 2011, he embarked on his first USO Tour to the Middle East.

In addition to his individual efforts, Kubiak has also supported U.S. military services with the Texans. For the last three years, the Texans and Kubiak have hosted more than 150 guests from all five branches of the military at practice during Salute to Service Week, among other events. Salute to Service Week has culminated with hundreds of servicemen and women attending a Texans game at which they are recognized. In 2010, the Texans defeated Kansas City, 35-31; and Houston topped Cleveland in 2012, 30-12. The Texans remained undefeated on Salute to Service Week with a 21-9 win against Buffalo on Nov. 4, 2012.

Kubiak returned to his roots when he took the reins as head coach of the Texans. He starred at Houston’s St. Pius High School, where he was an all-state selection, passing for 6,190 yards during his high school career. He was inducted into the Texas High School Hall of Fame in 1999.

Kubiak attended Texas A&M, where he was selected All-Southwest Conference in 1982. He led the conference in attempts (324), completions (181), percentage (55.9) yardage (1,948), touchdowns (19), and total offense (1,885) as a senior. He set the SWC passing touchdown record with six against Rice during his junior season. He earned his degree in physical education before being drafted by the Broncos in the eighth round (197th overall) in the 1983 draft.

Kubiak, born in Houston, is married to Rhonda. The couple has three sons and two daughters in law: Klint and his wife, Tessa, Klay and his wife, Marissa, and Klein. Klint, a former safety at Colorado State, is in his first season as an offensive quality control coach with the Minnesota Vikings. Klay played quarterback at Colorado State and is now teaching and coaching at Strake Jesuit in Houston. Klein is a senior wide receiver at Rice.

2006-13: Head Coach, Houston Texans
2003-05:  Offensive Coordinator, Denver Broncos
1995-02:  Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks, Denver Broncos
1994:  Quarterbacks, San Francisco 49ers
1992-93:  Running Backs, Texas A&M

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