Former Cincinnati Bengal quarterback Jon Kitna will become the latest former Bengal to take on the duties of being a head coach in high school football. Kitna, who retired following the end of the 2011 season, will be the new head coach at Lincoln High School in Tacoma, WA as reported by the Tacoma News Review.
Kitna, who spent 15 years in the NFL, was often mentioned as a future coach or coordinator after his career because of his understanding of offenses and ability to teach and mentor. That was apparent especially in Cincinnati when Kitna went from being the starter to supporting the development of a young Carson Palmer. Palmer greatly credits Kitna for his development as a quarterback.
Kitna, however, said he and his wife feel a "calling" to work with players on the high school level:
"My wife and I always felt like these years in the NFL have prepared us for what our real calling in life is going to be as teachers and running a high school football program," Kitna told The News Tribune in December. "I don't think there's anything that has changed from that. God has used my time in the NFL to train me to be ready to train young men to be authentic, real leaders, and to have a positive impact on society. And I want to use the avenue of football to do that. So I am very clear, and my wife is very clear in our calling."
Kitna began a part-time teaching position on Monday as a math teacher at Lincoln. He is an alumnus of Lincoln and spent his developing years in the Tacoma area, matriculating to Eastern Washington University and later as quarterback of the Seattle Seahawks.
Kitna will be the third former Bengal to be guiding a high school program, joining Pat McInally (California) and Bruce Kozerski (Northern Kentucky). Mike Martin stepped down at Cincinnati Taft following this past season after 10 years with the school.
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