ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Gary Kubiak has said, “I’ll always be a Bronco,” and the Denver Broncos made it official that he will continue to have a role with the franchise.
Kubiak, 55, has returned to Denver as a senior personnel adviser, the team said.
Kubiak had spent more than two decades with the Broncos as a player, assistant coach and head coach when he stepped down for health reasons earlier this year.
“It’s an honor for me to continue to be part of this great organization,” Kubiak said in a statement. “John [Elway] and I talked long ago about any opportunity like this, and I’m very happy to be able to contribute on the personnel side.
“I said when I left that I still wanted to be involved in football. This gives me an opportunity to be involved with the game, and I’m excited to get to work.”
Kubiak will participate in player evaluations, and while he will be based in Texas, he will make several trips to the team’s complex in suburban Denver.
After two seasons as the Broncos’ head coach, during which the team went 21-11 and won Super Bowl 50, Kubiak stepped down from his post in January. But he hinted at a return to football in some kind of scouting role in an interview with ESPN in Houston in February.
“With as much experience as he has evaluating players, Gary’s going to be a tremendous resource for our personnel department,” Broncos executive vice president of football operations/general manager John Elway said in the statement. “He’ll primarily help on the college side and assist us in free agency as well.”
Kubiak has extensive ties to Elway and the Broncos’ staff. Elway, who just agreed to a five-year contract extension Monday, was Kubiak’s road roommate when the two were players. Kubiak was an eighth-round draft pick by the Broncos in 1983 — the same year Elway was acquired in a trade.
Kubiak also served as Elway’s quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator from 1995 to 1998, and Broncos first-year coach Vance Joseph was an assistant on Kubiak’s staff with the Houston Texans. Kubiak was the Texans’ coach from 2006 to 2013, going 61-64.
Joseph has called Kubiak “one of my biggest mentors and a great person” and earlier this year Kubiak said Joseph was “a great choice” as the team’s new coach. Kubiak also coached Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy and quarterbacks coach Bill Musgrave during their playing careers.
Kubiak spent a night in the hospital last season after the Broncos’ Oct. 9 loss to the Atlanta Falcons. He was diagnosed with a “complex migraine condition” and was away from the team for a week after his hospital stay, missing an Oct. 13 game in San Diego.
Kubiak also had a mini-stroke in 2013 when he collapsed during a game while coaching the Texans. Kubiak returned to the sideline later that month and was fired later that season.
Earlier this year he said of his decision to quit coaching: “It’s been good, I know I did the right thing. I knew what I was doing and I made a commitment and I said, ‘You know I need to take a step back, take a break here.’ And so I feel good. Everybody asks me if I’m OK health-wise, and I’m fine. I know the demands of coaching and what they entail and what they entail for me and I just thought I need to take a break. I feel good and I’m really excited about what’s next. I’m not in a hurry, but I’m talking to a lot of people and I’m going to … go get after it and chase that just like I did coaching.”