Several players confirm Kubiak to step down as Broncos coach

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DENVER -- Several players said Sunday night that Gary Kubiak informed them that he will step down as Broncos coach one season after leading the organization to its third Super Bowl title.

Kubiak repeatedly declined to address his future after a 24-6 win over the Oakland Raiders in the regular-season finale, hours after ESPN reported that he will retire because of health concerns.

"Today is about the team and the players. I will address my situation (Monday)," Kubiak said more than once during the postgame news conference. "I did have a really good moment with the players and just told them how proud I was of them and how they finished."

But several players said Kubiak told the team before the game that he will be retiring.

"He didn't want to tell us during the week," cornerback Chris Harris Jr. said. "We wanted to send him out the right way with a win -- and we did."

Quarterback Trevor Siemian said he was "really surprised" by the move and said it was emotional when Kubiak told the team of his plans.

"It feels kind of weird," he said. "It's kinda sad that (Kubiak) is not going to be here. ... I love (Kubiak). I owe him a lot, obviously. I had no business being drafted, no business being around. So I owe him for giving me a change to play."

On Oct. 9, Kubiak was rushed to a hospital after a loss to the Atlanta Falcons at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. He was diagnosed with a complex migraine condition that caused extreme fatigue and body weakness.

He missed the next game under doctors’ orders and returned Oct. 23.

In 2013, Kubiak, then coach of the Houston Texans, collapsed on the field while walking to the locker room at halftime. He was later diagnosed as suffering a mini-stroke.

Speculation about Kubiak's future heated up last week, and he was vague about his future after practice on Friday.

“Yes, you know that I love this league," he said. "I love the Broncos. I love to work. I’m all in on the Raiders right now. There will be time for reflection and all of that stuff next week, but right now it’s time to focus on what we’re doing.”

Kubiak was fired from the Texans in 2013, then he was offensive coordinator for the Baltimore Ravens in 2014.

General manager John Elway picked his former teammate to get the Broncos over the top after playoff disappointments under John Fox, including a 43-8 loss to the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLVIII and two home playoff losses after having a bye.

Kubiak, who backed up Elway from 1983 to 1991 and was the team's offensive offensive coordinator from 1995 to 2005, signed a four-year contract and guided the Broncos to their third Super Bowl championship in 2015, winning Super Bowl 50 over the Carolina Panthers, 24-10.

The offseason was a rocky one, with several players leaving via free agency and quarterback Peyton Manning retiring.

Still, the Broncos started 4-0 and were on their way to a return trip to the postseason until the defeat to the Falcons began a stretch of seven losses in 11 games.

The Broncos finished 9-7 after beating the Raiders at home Sunday. They are not in the playoffs for the first time since 2010.

The offense has been a mess all season. With C.J. Anderson out because of an injury, second-year quarterback Trevor Siemian being broken in to replace Manning and an offensive line in shambles, the Broncos have struggled to score points.

While the defense has been stout, there were expected to be changes made to the coaching staff in the offseason, though Kubiak was expected to return.

But it appears there will be a coaching change at the top, with the Broncos searching for their fourth coach since Mike Shanahan was fired after the 2008 season.