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Kubiak named "Father of the Year"


Most NFL fans know Gary Kubiak as the pro quarterback who backed up Hall of Famer John Elway or the head coach who has guided the Texans to their best finishes in team history. The Houston native takes extreme pride in his football career, but there are two roles in his life that he cherishes even more.

"My dad taught me that I really had two big responsibilities in life," Gary said. "I know I am a coach and I know I have a lot of responsibility over there (at Reliant Stadium) on Kirby Drive, but really my two biggest responsibilities in life are to be a good husband and be a good father.

"As a coach, there are things we work towards. It's nice when people tell us we called a good game or the Texans are doing well. Those are great complements. That's what I do for a living. But I am being paid the ultimate compliment for being recognized as a father."

{QUOTE}On Thursday, Gary, along with three other honorees, were named Fathers of the Year by Community Partersm a nonprofit with a mission to improve the health and we—being of infants and children of teenage mothers from low-income families in the Houston Independent School District's North Region.

Helping Gary accept the award were his wife, Rhonda, and their three sons: Klint, Kley and Klein, who currently play college football.

"My sons are all grown and off at school and doing their own things, and I have always told them that I wanted them to do whatever made them happy," Gary said. "But it is most important that they are good people. My wife has helped me teach that."

Gary and Rhonda met during their freshman year at St. Pius and have been together ever since, including 25 years of marriage. The coach credits Rhonda for being the foundation of their family and a source of strength for him throughout his NFL career.

"About 17 years ago, I decided I had had enough of playing or maybe it had been decided for me that I couldn't play anymore," Gary said. "But I was still a young man; I was around 30 and I had three little kids and a lot of life to live and a family to raise.

"I sat down with Rhonda and started talking. She said to me, 'What are you going to do now?' I said, 'I would like to coach.' She said, "Are you crazy? Those guys never come home. They move all over the country. I'm not sure that is what's best for our family.' I told her, 'Give me five years. Let me see if I can make it work. If you are happy and the kids are happy and I enjoy doing it – if I can't figure it out in five years, I'll do something else. I'll do whatever you guys want me to do.' Well, I wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for her putting up for my dream."

His dream has helped rebuild a Texans team that had won only two games the season before he arrived. In back-to-back seasons, he led the team 8-8 records, the best finishes in team history. Many predict the Texans will put together a breakout season in 2009 and make their first trip to the playoffs.

If they do, the first people who will share in Gary's excitement will be Rhonda and their sons.

"I think in this business, you better have some strength from somewhere because it is such a crazy business, and I have always drawn it from my family," he said. "I am very proud of my kids, very proud of Rhonda and I am very fortunate to have them. I am very fortunate for my family."

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