Founder, Chairman, and CEO Bob McNair said it was a difficult decision. General Manager Rick Smith said they had been together for almost 18 years.
In the end, the decision to let Gary Kubiak go had to be made. What made it hard was the fact that the greatest moments in Texans franchise history came under Kubiak's tenure as head coach.
"I want to thank Gary Kubiak," McNair said Friday. "Gary, he has brought this team to a new level. We've had two division championships. We've had some outstanding performance. It's been a job that he has totally committed and he's put everything, his whole being into it."
This season, 52-year-old Kubiak suffered a mini-stroke in Week 9, collapsing on the field during halftime against the Indianapolis Colts and returned after missing just one game. Prior to 2013, Kubiak led the Texans to back-to-back division titles in 2011 and 2012. In 2011, Kubiak coached backup quarterback T.J. Yates to lead the team to its first-ever playoff appearance and win.
"We couldn't ask for more out of anyone and it's very disappointing that he's not going to be with us in the future," McNair said. "I truly felt that he would be with us until it was time for him to retire. And so I'm disappointed for him and for his family that it didn't work out this way. But we have to do what's best for the organization and we will always do that. We're here to have a winning culture and this year does not contribute to that."
Kubiak was informed of the decision on Friday morning, just hours after arriving in Houston following the 27-20 loss in Jacksonville. It was the Texans' 11th-consecutive loss this season.
"It was difficult for me because I think so much of Gary," McNair said of his meeting with Kubiak. "It's something that I didn't want to do, but you do what's best for the organization. Gary accepted it and understands the situation and was thankful for the opportunity that he's had. We're thankful for the job that he's done for us."
Kubiak finished his six-year tenure as head coach with a regular season record of 61-64 and 2-2 in the postseason. Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips will serve as interim head coach for the remainder of the season.