Super Bowl 50 was awesome. As a fan of Peyton Manning’s, the player and person, it was great to see him get another Super Bowl championship even if he didn’t play his best game. I hope he retires on this high. The other main story from the game was the relentless aggression from Denver’s D. Next to the Ravens Super Bowl defense in 2000, I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a strong defensive squad… and Von Miller deserved MVP honors.
Main storylines aside, I want to draw your attention to Gary Kubiak, the head coach of the Denver Broncos. His story is inspiring, and shows us just how quickly one can go from rock bottom to the pinnacle…
Gary Kubiak’s Trials and Ability to Persevere
A few years ago, Gary Kubiak was a rising star in the NFL coaching ranks. He was regarded as one of the brightest offensive minds in the NFL, and was the head coach of the Houston Texans, a relatively new franchise that he had help build up to a solid playoff team with a ton of potential. Battling for a Super Bowl appeared in the cards for his squad. But then, in 2013, after steadily improving his team year after year, the Texans stopped responding to their coach and quickly amassed a pitiful 2 and 11 record. It was unexplainable. The Texans arguably had their most talented team ever that year, but they weren’t performing on the field. It appeared Kubiak had lost the locker room…
This took a tremendous toll on his health. So much so that in November of 2013, as he headed back to the locker room at halftime against the Colts, Kubiak collapsed on the field, suffering a stroke right then and there for the fans and television cameras to witness.
Just over one month after suffering the stroke, Kubiak was fired by the Texans in an unusual move by the team’s management. They didn’t even wait until the season had ended (which is typical of head coach firings). With just a couple games remaining, Kubiak was unemployed and the once rising star coach was at the bottom of the ranks as he recovered from his stroke. His job prospects didn’t look very good.
Thankfully, in 2014, Kubiak was given another shot by John Harbaugh. He was offered the assistant coaching job with the Baltimore Ravens. It was a demotion indeed, but he looked at it as an opportunity to bounce back. Kubiak would be the team’s offensive coordinator.
That year, Gary Kubiak transformed the Ravens’ offense – a team that for over a decade had relied on its defense. He took the Ravens from being one of the worst offenses in the NFL (25th) in 2013, to 8th overall in his first year as coordinator. The talent on offense hadn’t really changed, just the coordinator. It was a testament of Kubiak’s ability to coach… and it didn’t go unnoticed by the rest of the league.
After the 2014 season, Kubiak was immediately picked up as the Broncos’ head coach. He would now be coaching arguably the greatest quarterback of all-time, who was quickly running out of time to win another Super Bowl.
What you saw last night was a story of perseverance. In just over two years, Kubiak went from having a stroke on the field and fired shortly afterward, to Super Bowl champion.
While the headlines from last night’s game are focused on other things, for me, Kubiak’s story of perseverance (the most important characteristic for success), attrition and humility is what resonates. If you work hard, are willing to fight your way through challenges, and never lose faith in your ability, your world can change dramatically in a very short period of time.
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