Skip to content

Kitna goes from quarterback to teacher

Jon Kitna 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.

Permalink 48 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Cincinnati Bengals, Dallas Cowboys, Detroit Lions, Home, Rumor Mill, Seattle Seahawks
48 Responses to “Kitna goes from quarterback to teacher”
  1. kd727 says: May 20, 2012 12:00 AM

    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. jcg23 says: May 20, 2012 12:11 AM

    A great Christian man.

  3. tfbuckfutter says: May 20, 2012 12:11 AM

    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.

  4. bjtmeyer says: May 20, 2012 12:11 AM

    That is very admirable. It’d be great if more pro athletes could make this transition. Hopefully Jon will lead the way.

  5. h3min1230 says: May 20, 2012 12:14 AM

    Wait, you mean to tell me it IS possible?

  6. danger19 says: May 20, 2012 12:15 AM

    Maybe other NFL players should take note.

  7. gobungles says: May 20, 2012 12:20 AM

    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.

  8. plum13sec says: May 20, 2012 12:25 AM

    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

  9. rollteal says: May 20, 2012 12:26 AM

    That’s really good to hear !!

  10. talkintrashallday says: May 20, 2012 12:37 AM

    As long as Matt Millen doesn’t try to be the principal…will run that school right to the mud

  11. nolahxc says: May 20, 2012 12:43 AM

    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!

  12. malbosia says: May 20, 2012 12:44 AM

    Awesome

  13. greekgodfather says: May 20, 2012 12:51 AM

    Never a superstar in the NFL but a superstar for these kids. Bravo!

  14. wildbillesq says: May 20, 2012 12:51 AM

    Atta boy, John.

  15. mullman7675 says: May 20, 2012 1:09 AM

    Nice little story. Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside…

  16. cowboyscanada says: May 20, 2012 1:11 AM

    Im sure some Cowboy haters will find a way to make this a negative story!

  17. jtdapit50 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.

  18. Neftali Ramos says: May 20, 2012 1:28 AM

    Great story. Hopefully other players take notice.

  19. blmonroe12 says: May 20, 2012 1:33 AM

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

  20. redrifle14 says: May 20, 2012 2:04 AM

    And Yes folks, he had his best years as a former Bengal. Thats right, Bengal’s players can be role models.

  21. firstladyofnfl says: May 20, 2012 2:08 AM

    Good for Kitna, as a Lions fan it is great to see him get a chance to make an impact. Hope it works out great for him, seems like a great guy.

  22. claymatthewsisonsteroids says: May 20, 2012 2:44 AM

    Good for Kitna.

  23. boopipes says: May 20, 2012 2:48 AM

    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.

  24. daltex says: May 20, 2012 2:58 AM

    he has always been a stand-up guy.

  25. garrison1981 says: May 20, 2012 3:31 AM

    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!!

  26. elmaxoh says: May 20, 2012 4:46 AM

    Good luck to him in his new life !

  27. canjura says: May 20, 2012 5:20 AM

    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.

  28. alonestartexan says: May 20, 2012 5:24 AM

    I always liked Kitna, He’s a solid human being and not your typical NFL douche.

  29. mattsg22 says: May 20, 2012 5:33 AM

    This is an example of a role model children, not pretending to be one.

  30. dragonflypack says: May 20, 2012 6:12 AM

    Great Job Mike. You’re the best. I hope you read this. I’ve been reading your website since you started. You’re the best. Thank you.

  31. sellout3871 says: May 20, 2012 6:42 AM

    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.

  32. hebertespinosa says: May 20, 2012 7:04 AM

    Best of luck to Kitna in his new career.

  33. 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.

  34. beelicker says: May 20, 2012 7:34 AM

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

  35. robertallen1958 says: May 20, 2012 7:36 AM

    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

  36. TD Hawk says: May 20, 2012 7:46 AM

    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.”

  37. mtheparrothead says: May 20, 2012 8:40 AM

    There’s an idea t.o. Teaching English classes. Or something as equally difficult for him, rocket science.

  38. sparty0n says: May 20, 2012 8:54 AM

    TD Hawk – He wont be forgotten. I still have the Kitna Jersey

  39. tombrookshire says: May 20, 2012 9:28 AM

    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.

  40. jluns275 says: May 20, 2012 9:40 AM

    Classy move by a classy guy.
    It’s a shame guys like this don’t receive the endorsement deals.

  41. ericn42000 says: May 20, 2012 9:54 AM

    Great man

  42. corvusrex96 says: May 20, 2012 9:58 AM

    “Kitna will be teaching 16 yr olds.”

    Just in- Mark Sanchez has decided to get a degree in education.

  43. jjbadd says: May 20, 2012 10:41 AM

    “Get a haircut & get a real job!”

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

  44. thingamajig says: May 20, 2012 10:53 AM

    So it appears that after 16 years playing in the NFL he never suffered a concussion.

  45. illiniftw says: May 20, 2012 11:33 AM

    He’s just doing it for the money!!! Oh wait….

  46. datdangdrewdundunituhgin says: May 20, 2012 11:35 AM

    not HOF player, but a HOF person. good luck to him, i think this is probably just the beginning of a nice coaching career. the NFL hasn’t seen the last of john kitna.

  47. sports_dude says: May 20, 2012 12:34 PM

    This guy played with fire! Wish him nothing but the best! Go Cowboys!

  48. raiderapologist says: May 20, 2012 9:32 PM

    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!