Jan. 12, 2006
WACO, Texas - Gary Joe Kinne, a standout linebacker at Baylor from 1986 through 1989, has been hired as an assistant football coach at his alma mater, Bears' coach Guy Morriss announced today. Currently the head football coach and athletic director at Canton (Texas) High School, Kinne will coach linebackers at Baylor when he begins his duties on Jan. 16.
"Gary Joe is a young and energetic coach, a very good X and O man," Morriss said. "He's an upbeat person and his personality should make him a very strong recruiter for our program. He's excited about coming back to Baylor and will relate well to our players.
"He has a vested interest in helping turn this program around," he added. "I'm really happy that Gary Joe will be joining our coaching staff and believe he'll do a great job. We spoke with several people during this process and all of us were impressed with Gary Joe. He's a special man."
Recently 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 State Class 3A Coach of the Year and the District 15-3A Coach of the Year after recovering from an April, 2005 gun shot wound to guide the Eagles to a school-record 12 victories. His Canton coaching staff was also honored as the 2005 15-3A Staff of the Year.
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 playoff 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.
"I'm excited about the opportunity to return to my alma mater and work for coach Morriss," said Kinne. "I've always wanted to coach at the college level and to do so at my alma mater is just icing on the cake. This is a tremendous opportunity."
Before being introduced as Canton's head coach, Kinne spent six seasons as an assistant coach at Mesquite 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 Kaufmann High School, the last two as defensive coordinator.
A four-year letterman for coach Grant Teaff's Bears from 1986 through 1989, 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's 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 Dec., 1990. He signed free agent contracts with both the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles and 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. (17), Kellie (8) and Landry (4).
Kinne fills the vacancy created by the departure of Mark Nelson, who was named Tulsa's co-defensive coordinator and defensive line coach, Jan. 11. Morriss also announced that assistant coach Chris Lancaster would take over Nelson's duties as the Bears' special teams coordinator.