The Houston Texans have agreed to a new contract with head coach Gary Kubiak, the team announced today. His original contract lasted through the 2010 season and was extended through the 2012 season.
Kubiak was named the second head coach in Houston Texans history on Jan. 26, 2006. In his four years at the helm, he has guided the Texans to a 31-33 record. He became the franchise's winningest head coach on Dec. 1, 2008, when he recorded his 19th win in a 30-17 victory over Jacksonville on Monday Night Football.
Kubiak, 48, led the Texans to a 9-7 record in 2009, giving the franchise its first-ever winning season. Houston closed the season with four straight wins, which is tied for the second-longest active regular season winning streak in the NFL. He and owner Bob McNair met with the media in a Wednesday morning press conference announcing the new deal.
"I'm just very excited to have the opportunity, very thankful to Bob and his family," Kubiak said. "We've still got a long, long way to go, but I'm enjoying it. We've got a bigtime challenge coming ahead this year, schedule-wise, and our division will always be a challenge, but I think we've got the right group of guys to do it and I'm very excited about our young football team. I'm just thankful for Bob to continue to give me that opportunity."
McNair explained the progress the franchise has taken under the four years of Kubiak's leadership, and talked about the decision to give Kubiak a new contract.
"I think Gary has done a very good job," McNair said. "One of the things that we did, we looked at what our team has done during the last four years, what our record has been, and what the record was in the prior four years, and we looked at every other team on the same basis. And in terms of that, you've got to acknowledge that a tremendous amount of improvement has been made, and I think Gary is primarily responsible for that. I think (general manager) Rick Smith is, too, in terms of upgrading our personnel."
McNair also cited Kubiak's assistants and the way he's hired them as impressive.
"I think Gary has tried to strengthen our coaching staff," McNair said. "I think the sign of an outstanding head coach is a coach who will look at his coaching staff and try to determine how he can strengthen that staff, as opposed to having an overwhelming loyalty to the staff and not being willing to consider making any changes. Gary has been willing to do that and has done that, and this year we've got Rick Dennison coming in as an offensive coordinator. Rick has been in the role before and he was a player in the league, he's an experienced person. We think he's going to do a fine job."
Kubiak took over a team that went 2-14 in 2005 and tripled its win total in his first season. The Texans' 6-10 record in 2006 was the second-best in the young franchise's history to that point. The six victories included wins in three of the last five games of the season and the franchise's first-ever win over division foe Indianapolis.
In his second year, Kubiak guided the Texans to an 8-8 record, marking the first non-losing season in team history. The Texans won three of their last four games and five of their last seven to finish with a .500 record. Houston also began to establish a true home field advantage at Reliant Stadium, going 6-2 at home.
The 2008 season was marked by the devastation wrought by Hurricane Ike early in the year and a resulting 0-4 start, but Kubiak rallied his team to win eight of its last 12 and finish with a second consecutive 8-8 record. Houston became just the 10th team in NFL history to start a year 0-4 and finish at or above .500.
Kubiak came to Houston after spending the previous 11 seasons as the Denver Broncos' offensive coordinator, bringing with him an offensive philosophy based on a strong running game and an efficient passing attack. Kubiak's Texans have completely rewritten the franchise's record book in his four years on the sidelines. The Texans have broken or tied 228 team and individual franchise records during Kubiak's tenure.
Under Kubiak's guidance, wide receiver Andre Johnson has been the most productive receiver in the NFL, averaging a league-best 90.2 yards per game since 2006. Johnson became the second receiver in NFL history to surpass 1,500 yards in back-to-back seasons, posting 1,575 yards in 2008 and 1,569 in 2009. Both totals led the league, making him the second receiver since 1970 to lead the league in consecutive seasons.
Kubiak found the quarterback to run his offense in 2007 when he traded with Atlanta to acquire Matt Schaub. Schaub showed promise in 2007 and 2008, but truly came into his own last year when he threw for a league-leading 4,770 yards and a franchise-record 29 touchdowns. Schaub's yardage total was the sixth-highest in NFL history and earned him a spot in the 2010 Pro Bowl, where he was named the game's Most Valuable Player.
The Texans' defense also has improved under Kubiak, particularly in 2009 after he hired first-year defensive coordinator Frank Bush. After a slow start to the season, Bush turned the defense around and ultimately set franchise records for total defense, allowing 324.9 yards per game, and scoring defense at 20.8 points per game.
Kubiak, along with general manager Rick Smith, has emphasized building the roster through the draft. His commitment to this philosophy was evidenced by the selection of defensive end Mario Williams with the first pick in the 2006 NFL Draft. Williams, a two-time Pro Bowler who holds the franchise career sack record with 39.5, is one of four Pro Bowlers drafted by Kubiak, along with linebacker DeMeco Ryans, tight end Owen Daniels and linebacker Brian Cushing.