ENGLEWOOD, Colo. --The moment Gary Kubiak told John Elway he was retiring on Christmas Eve in a hotel room in a Kansas City suburb was the same moment Elway began wondering how he could find a way to get him back to the organization.
It took the entire offseason, but this week, Elway ensured that the Broncos would not begin their 2017 season without Kubiak back in the fold, this time as a senior personnel advisor.
"My guess is that John's wheels were turning about how he could still stay and help us. Gary too," President/CEO Joe Ellis said.
"I think [Kubiak] said in his press conference, 'I'm retired from coaching, not football.' To have him back is great and obviously him and John go back a long way, so I think it's a great thing."
But to Elway, Kubiak "never really left" the Broncos.
"He just had to get some separation," Elway said. "When we talked about what he wanted to do as far as stepping down as a head coach, I talked to him about coming back in some kind of capacity.
"Gary is a very bright football man, and he can bring a lot to us. That's why I'm excited he is going to come back. He's a great evaluator. He's a big bonus for us on the personnel side."
Kubiak's presence, even from a distance, will also help his successor, Vance Joseph, who worked under Kubiak in Houston from 2011-13. Joseph draws many details of his day-to-day management from the template Kubiak used.
"Most of my coaching principles come from Coach Kubiak," Joseph said. "For me, selfishly to have him around and to kind of bounce things off of him as a young head coach, I'm embracing that."
Joseph said he was consulted before Kubiak returned -- not that he would have had a problem, anyway.
"I'm happy for us and I'm happy for Kubs because he wants to be involved with football and he should be here," Joseph said.
"He's a Bronco."
Added outside linebacker Von Miller: "Just to have his energy and his spirit somewhere in the organization, that's going to help us out a lot."