Elway: Gary Kubiak will miss Thursday's game to rest, recover

Assistant Joe DeCamillis named interim coach
Assistant Joe DeCamillis named interim coach
Assistant Joe DeCamillis named interim coach
Posted at 2:31 PM, Oct 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-10 21:11:09-04

CENTENNIAL, Colo. -- Denver Broncos' Head Coach Gary Kubiak suffered a health scare Sunday that will prevent him from coaching Thursday at San Diego.

General manager John Elway explained the medical staff's decision when meeting the press Monday in Kubiak's absence. Kubiak was hospitalized overnight with a "complex migraine condition," a relieving diagnosis given the previous mini-stroke he suffered in 2013.

Both an MRI and a CT scan came back normal, the team said. 

"Gary will have this week off and be back on Monday," Elway said. "His prognosis is good. I am not the doctor. I am going to leave that up to Gary when he’s back (to discuss his health). The process for Gary is to worry about Gary this week."

Elway emphasized that Kubiak's health remains the top priority. Kubiak was discharged from the hospital Monday afternoon.

"We left the hospital relieved about what we heard. The doctor said a week (off). They were firm," Elway said. "He was good when we saw him. He was very tired. We were there last night. And I talked to him this morning. Things are good. We will look at it again on Monday."

Special teams coach Joe DeCamillis will serve as the interim coach. It will allow offensive coordinator Rick Dennison and defensive coordinator Wade Phillips to have the "most seamless" disruption, Elway said.

"Gary has set a template for us," said DeCamillis, a longtime assistant who is former Broncos coach Dan Reeves' son-in-law. "He lets us do our job. We are going to stay off the texts and calls to Gary and let him get squared away. We are praying for him and happy with the prognosis."

Elway indicated that the information the Broncos received from the doctors made them positive about Kubiak's coaching future. This is the second time Kubiak has left an NFL stadium as a coach in an ambulance.

"No. 1 as a friend I was concerned for Gary," said Elway, who was worried before the game based on how Kubiak was feeling. "We have a great coaching staff. We are relieved about Gary. Of course it was a concern." 

Kubiak experienced flu-like symptoms during the game and, 30 minutes after his postgame press conference, was transported by ambulance to a local hospital where he remained overnight as doctors conducted a battery of tests. 

While his diagnosis is different than in 2013, the concern is not. Kubiak, 55, admitted after the previous episode -- he collapsed on the field as the Houston Texans coach -- that he wasn't sure he would coach again.

His family was split on the decision of him returning with two of his sons, Klay and Klein, opposing it, while his oldest boy, Klint, and wife Rhonda approved. All were present Sunday when coach Kubiak was rushed to the hospital. Kubiak made strict changes to his diet, added more exercise and vowed to take better of himself by working less before taking the Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator job in 2014. With his health steady, Kubiak accepted Elway's offer to take over the Broncos before last season. It was the only head coaching job he entertained, turning down multiple options.

Kubiak has listened to his body, been cognizant of his health. However, telling him to take it easy is a fool's errand.

Kubiak is wired to coach. Logging long hours defines Kubiak, who enjoys breaking down film, developing game plans and coaching multiple positions. 

In 2013, Kubiak missed one game then coached two from the booth before reassuming his role on the sideline. Elway and Kubiak have known each other since 1983, forming a close bond as teammates that has only strengthened with Kubiak's return to the Broncos last season.

In his first year, Kubiak guided the Broncos to their first title since the 1998 season. Elway credited Kubiak's leadership for pushing the Broncos to their goal. Kubiak managed a difficult quarterback controversy involving legend Peyton Manning and Brock Osweiler, and with the season slipping away after back-to-back losses in December, rallied the team to five straight wins.

"Gary called the team together (in the locker room after the Pittsburgh defeat), and he bared his soul. He said guys, 'Are you in with me or not?' It was part anger, part emotion, part frustration, but a huge part passion," said Broncos president Joe Ellis, who was in the room for Kubiak's season-defining speech. "He was putting everything he had into this and he wanted his players to join him. And they did. They responded and never lost another game."

Kubiak will get this week off to recover, undergo further tests and rest. 

"The information we received last night, we felt very good about the fact that he continue to what he does," Elway said. "But this week is about doing what's best for Gary. That's the priority." 

Kubiak issues statement

Please see below for a statement from Denver Broncos Head Coach Gary Kubiak:
“I’m feeling much better and am thankful for everyone’s thoughts and well-wishes. It’s tough not being there with our team this week, but I’ve got great confidence in Joe D, our coordinators and coaching staff, and all of our players.
“Greek and the medical team did an outstanding job taking care of me and getting this figured out. I’ve made a lot of positive changes health-wise in recent years and will continue to listen to doctors.
“I’ll be at home this week, resting and getting healthy, and I look forward to rejoining our team on Monday.”


Want Broncos news? Denver7 Broncos insider Troy E. Renck is your source. He talks to the players, covers the games and reports scoops on Denver7 and the Denver7 app. He is a CU grad who has covered pro sports in Colorado since 1996, including 14 years at The Denver Post. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and’s Broncos page. Troy welcomes most of your emails at

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