Denver Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak earned a unique place in NFL history Sunday afternoon, becoming the first person to reach the Super Bowl as both a player and head coach for the same franchise, per Elias Sports Bureau (via ESPN Stats & Info).
Kubiak spent his entire nine-year playing career as a quarterback for the Broncos, serving as the backup to Hall of Famer John Elway from 1983 to 1991, with his tenure including just five starts and 298 pass attempts.
Elway, the team's current general manager and executive vice president of football operations, led the Broncos to Super Bowl appearances in 1986, 1987 and 1989, but he couldn't pull off any victories in the big game until 1997 and 1998, at which point Kubiak had long been retired.
Kubiak immediately went into coaching after his retirement, spending 1992 and 1993 as the running backs coach at Texas A&M, followed by a one-year stint as a quarterbacks coach for the San Francisco 49ers.
He then rejoined the Denver organization, serving as an offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach from 1995 to 2002 and offensive coordinator from 2003 to 2005, then left for a head coaching position with the Houston Texans from 2006 to 2013.
After spending one year as the Baltimore Ravens' offensive coordinator, Kubiak was tabbed as John Fox's replacement for the head job in Denver, making him the rare first-year coach to join a team with legitimate Super Bowl aspirations.
When the Broncos take the field against the Carolina Panthers on Feb. 7, the 54-year-old Kubiak will become the seventh coach to reach the Super Bowl in his first season as head coach of a team, per Jim Saccomano of the Broncos' public relations department.