Denton High head football coach Kevin Atkinson was looking for coaches with experience to add to his staff heading into his third season with the Broncos.
Experience is not something Gary Joe Kinne is short on.
After five years as Sherman’s head coach, Kinne was hired in early May to join the Denton coaching staff. Kinne has nine years of head coaching experience and 21 years of overall coaching experience.
“That was key in wanting him to come aboard,” Atkinson said. “He’s done nothing but win wherever he’s been.”
Kinne will be Denton’s assistant head coach and will also coach linebackers. In his nine years as a head coach, Kinne has an overall record of 79-29.
Kinne joins the Broncos after compiling a 41-18 record at Sherman, where he took the Bearcats to the playoffs in four of his five seasons. But Kinne resigned in January following a tumultuous final season.
The University Interscholastic League suspended Kinne for one game and placed him on two-year probation for violating rules regarding non-school participation. Sherman missed the Class 4A playoffs in 2013, a year after the Bearcats reached the area round of the 4A Division I playoffs.
Kinne said he figured Denton was a good place to find a fresh start.
“I looked at some head coaching opportunities, but if it wasn’t the right fit, then I wasn’t just going to take any job just to be a head coach again,” Kinne said. “I want to take the right opportunity. I love the location in Denton.”
Atkinson said he was not fazed by the circumstances that caused Kinne to leave Sherman.
“The one thing that I look for in an assistant coach is their relationship with kids,” Atkinson said. “First and foremost, everywhere I checked, kids love Gary Joe Kinne.”
Atkinson also said he enjoyed hearing people talk about how Kinne evaluates talent and players.
Kinne was also a head coach at Clovis West (Calif.) for a year before he went to Sherman. His first job as a head coach came at Canton, where he spent three years and made national news in 2005 when a disgruntled parent shot him in the chest.
Kinne has also served as an assistant coach at Mesquite, Allen, Kaufman and Baylor, where he was the linebackers coach for two years. During his playing days, Kinne was a four-year letterman for the Bears and earned All-Southwest Conference honors in 1988. One of Kinne’s three children, G.J., is a backup quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles.
Atkinson said he started talking to Kinne about the position in the spring and offered the former Baylor standout the job around early May.
“I really appreciate Kevin and of course [Denton ISD athletic director] Joey Florence for giving me the opportunity to come to the district,” Kinne said. “I think Denton High has a lot of potential. I know they haven’t had the record they wanted to have the last three years, but they’re really building a program here, and I think it’s going to be a breakout season.”
BEN BABY can be reached at 940-566-6869 and via Twitter at @Ben_Baby.