Kitna goes from quarterback to teacher

Getty Images

After 16 years in the NFL, Jon Kitna is now teaching 16-year-olds.

Kitna, who retired from football after the 2011 season and played for the Seahawks, Bengals, Lions, and Cowboys, has been hired as a teacher and coach at Lincoln High School in Tacoma.

Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times tells the tale of Kitna’s transition.  He’s working for the same high school  he attended — and the same school Kitna’s son will attend in the fall.

Kitna has purchased new weight-room equipment for the school, and he supervises the weight-training program.

So why is Kitna not taking it easy after a long football career?  “We don’t believe that we’ve been given all we’ve been given to just enjoy a comfortable life,” Kitna said.

It’s a great example of a pro athlete finding a way to make the transition to a normal life; Kitna has embraced a normal life.  And, given his background, he could do great things with it.

48 responses to “Kitna goes from quarterback to teacher

  1. Kitna’s always been one of the good guys. A very easy player to root for. The kids at Lincoln High School just lucked out to have him return to the program. Keep on keepin’ on Jon.

  2. Some people (most people) can’t retire and just watch The Price is Right for 40 years. In fact…the people who CAN spend 40 years doing that are the people who don’t have the drive to enable themselves to HAVE 40 years of “freedom” ahead of them by retiring at age 40.

    So once you don’t need to work for your money it is beyond awesome to spend your free time doing something you enjoy that benefits others.

  3. Jon Kitna is a class act.

    Being a Bengal fan, I’ll remember him for the way he handled being demoted for Carson Palmer. Kitna played great and had every reason to complain, but he handled the demotion professionally and even served as a mentor to Carson.

    Kitna was also active in the local community here and was one of the few leaders the Bengals have had. One of the true good guys to ever play in the NFL.

  4. He has his head on right. What can he do to better those around him with that he has been blessed with. Rather than what some other athletes chose to spend there money on

  5. And he didn’t even need to file a concussion lawsuit to do! Hopefully the rest of the NFL players will take this example and know that they are allowed to work real jobs after an extended childhood!

  6. I love it, isn’t that why these players graduated with degrees from college? Roethlisberger just graduated…. Can anyone see HIM being a teacher 10 years from now??? The better players never go on to normalcy again. not dissing kitna, but he wasn’t brett favre.

  7. What a novel idea, using your degree to get a job in your mid/late 30s after football.

  8. Kitna is cool with me. He was a pretty gritty player and he looks a lot like Chad Henne in the way they both have a huge brow-skin-flap kinda look. When they put their helmets on both looked like that flap of brow would cover their eyes…but who knows, I am drunk.

  9. Great move by great guy! Wether or not his son will be attending, he’s giving a lot of adolescents a chance they may not have had otherwise to achieve their dreams!!

  10. One of the most undervalued quarterbacks in the last 15 years in my opinion. Sure, he was never a top 5 QB, but you can win just as many, if not more games paying a top 15 QB rather than a top 5 QB, just ask Niners, Ravens, Texans, Lions, and Falcons. Niners won 13 games with a QB that a year before no fan even wanted on the roster and were 2 fumbles short of playing in the big game. Where were Rodgers, Rivers, Roethlisberger, and Brees at? At home watching the Super Bowl with the rest of us. Those extra $12 mil a year can go a long way to building a team AROUND the quarterback.

  11. Kitna is a great football player and a great person. The NFL should hire him to teach current players how to not blow all their money, get DUI’s, and rape underage girls.

  12. Kitna has always been a good guy, this is no surprise.

    By the way, if this was a story of Kitna being pulled over for a DUI, the author of the story and many of those leaving comments would have brought up the fact that he played for the Bengals. But because it’s a positive story, no mention. Give me a thumbs down but Google “confirmation bias” first.

  13. Wondering why the picture doesn’t show good ol’ Stubby McButterfingers there in his Bengal stripes like Nate Webster?

  14. tdapit50 says: May 20, 2012 1:20 AM

    I love it, isn’t that why these players graduated with degrees from college? Roethlisberger just graduated…. Can anyone see HIM being a teacher 10 years from now??? The better players never go on to normalcy again. not dissing kitna, but he wasn’t brett favre.

    no he wasn’t Farve thank God, he was better, maybe not throwing a football but as a human, never bitched about anything, always ready when called, thats why he played for 15 years, he was a good qb but a great teacher and mentor for kids, i hope someday he makes it to Canton

  15. As most of us regular civilians know, ALL professional athletes better have a plan for “real life”. That life is just beginning after they “retire” in their twenties or early thirties. I know as rookies they’re told this but it doesn’t stick with many because of how they were idolized since a teenager.

    I hope what they’re told and will understand is, “Find something you love to do as ‘work’ because you will be forgotten a few years after you retire.”

  16. Great story. Enjoy hearing about guys who dedicate their lives to a cause greater than making a lot of money, blowing a lot of money and how important they are. One of the good guys. Wonder if he’ll end up coaching.

  17. “Get a haircut & get a real job!”

    Kitna always had a haircut, now he’s got a real job! Good for him!

  18. 32bigg says: May 20, 2012 7:33 AM

    Kitna has always been a good guy, this is no surprise.

    By the way, if this was a story of Kitna being pulled over for a DUI, the author of the story and many of those leaving comments would have brought up the fact that he played for the Bengals. But because it’s a positive story, no mention. Give me a thumbs down but Google “confirmation bias” first.

    So a soft and fuzzy story about Kitna gives Bengal fan an opening to cry once again about how everyone picks on them. Pitiful. Get off your inferiority complex and let the man enjoy his moment.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!