Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak announced his retirement on Thursday, ending a career that has spanned 36 seasons as a player and coach.
Kubiak began his career with the Denver Broncos as the backup to John Elway and parlayed his experience into a successful coaching career that resulted in seven total Super Bowl victories. That included a win as the head coach of the Broncos in Super Bowl 50.
"It's been the honor of my lifetime to work for 36 seasons as an NFL player and coach," Kubiak said in a statement released by the team. "I'll miss the competition, the planning, game days and being part of the team. But, more than anything, I'll cherish the friendships I've made along the way with players, coaches and staff. I love the game of football and will forever be its biggest fan."
Kubiak spent the final years of his coaching career in Minnesota where he was an offensive consultant during the 2019 season before becoming the offensive coordinator in 2020.
In a year that included coaching through a pandemic, Kubiak directed Minnesota to the fourth-ranked offense in terms of total yards. Head coach Mike Zimmer applauded Kubiak's work during his end of season press conference saying that Kubiak helped produce an "explosive" offense.
"Gary did a tremendous job with us at the Vikings over the past two seasons," Zimmer said in his statement. "I have a great deal of respect for him as a coach and as a person and I'm glad I was able to coach with him."
While Kubiak's offense was successful, it didn't come without its flaws. Minnesota ranked 11th in total points last season and his conservative play-calling put the Vikings in holes they couldn't climb out of due to a step back on the defensive side of the ball.
With Kubiak gone, the Vikings will turn their attention to finding their sixth offensive coordinator in eight seasons including their fourth straight season.