A standout middle linebacker at Baylor from 1986 through 1989 who went on to become a highly successful high school football coach in the Lone Star state, Gary Kinne returned to his alma mater as linebackers coach in January 2006.
His first season on the Baylor sideline saw redshirt freshman linebacker Joe Pawelek earn first-team Freshman All-America honors and second-team All-Big 12 recognition from the league's coaches. Selected as The Associated Press' 2006 Defensive Big 12 Newcomer of the Year, Pawelek also earned Big 12 Freshman of the Year honors from several media outlets after leading the Bears in tackles (86). In fact, Kinne's linebackers ranked first, second and sixth on the squad in tackles.
Kinne returned to his alma mater from Canton [Texas] High School, where he had served as head football coach and athletic director since 2003.
Selected as the 2005 Adams USA National Head Coach of the Year, Kinne guided Canton to a 12-2 record and the regional finals of the 2005 Class 3A playoffs. In addition to the national award, bestowed upon the nation's top prep football coach that has not only won on the field but who also serves as a positive influence to America's youth, Kinne was also named both the 2005 Fox Sports Southwest Class 3A Coach of the Year and the District 15-3A Coach of the Year after recovering from an April 2005 gunshot wound to guide the Eagles to a school-record 12 victories and their first district title in some 41 years. His Canton coaching staff was also honored as the 2005 15-3A Staff of the Year and his team received the 2005 Gordon Wood Award from the Texas High School Football of Fame.
Canton finished 8-4 and advanced to the second round of the 2003 state playoffs in Kinne's rookie season as head coach, then posted an 8-2 record in 2004 but just missed the playoffs after losing a berth on a district tie-breaker. All told, he fashioned a 28-8 (.778) three-year record on the Eagles' sideline and led his squad to a pair of playoff appearances.
Before being introduced as Canton's head coach and athletic director, Kinne spent six seasons as an assistant coach at Mesquite (Texas) High School, where he served as defensive coordinator in his final year. He spent one season as an assistant coach at Allen High School and three years at Kaufman High School, the last two as defensive coordinator.
A four-year letterman for coach Grant Teaff's Bears (1986-89), Kinne earned 1988 All-Southwest Conference honors as a middle linebacker after leading the Baylor defense in tackles, tackles for loss, interceptions and fumble recoveries. He ranks as the eighth-leading tackler in school history with 323 stops and his 144 career assisted tackles stand sixth on the Baylor all-time chart. The Bears posted three winning seasons during Kinne's playing career and won the Bluebonnet Bowl in 1986 to finish 12th in the final Associated Press poll.
Kinne, who captained the Bears for two seasons, received his undergraduate degree from Baylor in December 1990. He signed a free-agent contract with the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles and was drafted by the World Football League's Orlando Thunder after his Baylor playing career before beginning his coaching career at Kaufman.
He and his wife, Laurie, have three children -- G.J., Kellie and Landry.
The Kinne File
Birthdate: Born June 12, 1967, in Mesquite, Texas
High School: North Mesquite High School, Mesquite, Texas
Alma Mater: Baylor, 1990
Collegiate Playing Experience: Baylor, linebacker, 1986-89
Professional Playing Experience: Signed free-agent contract with the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles and was drafted by the World Football League's Orlando Thunder
Children: G.J., Kellie and Landry
1991: Kaufman (Texas) High School, assistant
1992-93: Kaufman (Texas) High School, defensive coordinator
1996: Allen (Texas) High School, assistant
1997-01: Mesquite (Texas) High School, assistant
2002: Mesquite (Texas) High School, defensive coordinator
2003-05: Canton (Texas) High School, head coach & athletic director
2006-07: Baylor, linebackers
1985: Liberty Bowl (player)
1986: Bluebonnet Bowl (player)
1992: Texas High School Playoffs (coach)
1996: Texas High School Playoffs (coach)
1998: Texas High School Playoffs (coach)
1999: Texas High School Playoffs (coach)
2001: Texas High School Class 5A Division I state champions (coach)
2002: Texas High School Playoffs (coach)
2003: Texas High School Playoffs (coach)
2005: Texas High School Playoffs (coach)
Did You Know?
Gary Kinne is the eighth-leading tackler in Baylor history with 323 career stops as a linebacker from 1986-89.