Thursday, February 12, 2015

Gut Reaction to Interview with NFLer Turned HS Coach

     This morning I heard a radio interview that had me excited, but ultimately disappointed me. It was with former NFL quarterback Jon Kitna, who is now a nigh school football coach. He recently moved from Tacoma to Waxahachie, TX, to become the head coach there. Pretty cool, I thought, especially when he talked about how he wanted to coach in high school so that he could have a positive impact on so many young men. In fact, he talked about how that was the plan coming out of college, for pro ball never seemed a possibility. He and his wife, also a teacher and coach, dreamed of being some school's "power couple" in terms of helping young folks. I loved it, fondly recalling the soccer coaches who helped to shape me.
     Then it turned sour. The radio host asked Kitna if he would be teaching a class as he had in Tacoma and if he liked doing that. No, Kitna explained, he wouldn't. He then elaborated that he was glad about that because when he was "stuck in a classroom" he "couldn't have an impact on young people."
     I hope Jon Kitna didn't mean that the way it hit me. I believe he didn't mean to insult the many dedicated educators who bust their tails every day to make a positive impact on young people. And who do so without the adulation that comes with the Friday night lights, especially here in Texas. I want to trust that won't be part of the message as he's making that impact.

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