Lincoln High alum Jon Kitna returned to his alma mater on Monday, starting a part-time teaching position.
Could the 15-year NFL quarterback fill the Abes’ head football coach vacancy, too?
“Nothing is set in stone,” a source said, “but you can connect the dots.”
One thing’s for sure: no announcement will come before Wednesday. That’s when the football coaching position closes.
Lincoln athletic director Char Davenport confirmed Kitna had applied for the coaching job and that she was not aware of any other applicants.
Davenport said in-building applicants will be given priority for the position and interviews will begin on Thursday.
“I know he wants to coach,” she said, “and he’ll probably be someone to reckon with if there are other applicants.”
Kitna, who retired from the NFL earlier this month, has been open about his desire to teach and guide a high school football program.
“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 did not return a call seeking comment.
On Monday, Lincoln principal Pat Erwin showed Kitna around campus and introduced him to colleagues and students. Kitna, who received a degree in Math Education at Central Washington University, is teaching math at Lincoln.
Former football coach Mike Merrill resigned after the 2011 season and will assume athletic director duties in February.
A three-sport athlete at Lincoln – he played football, basketball and baseball – Kitna went on to lead CWU to the NAIA national title in 1995. Kitna spent the 1996 NFL season on the Seattle Seahawks’ practice squad and played for the Barcelona Dragons of the now-defunct World Football League in 1997, leading the team to the WFL title. He made the Seahawks in 1997 and played four seasons with the team. In his first season as a full-time starter, he guided the Seahawks to the AFC West title in 1999, throwing for 3,346 yards and 23 touchdowns.
Seattle released Kitna after the 2000 season and he had stints at Cincinnati, Detroit and Dallas. In 15 seasons, Kitna, 39, played in 141 games and started 124, passing for 29,745 yards and 169 touchdowns.