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Football program hires former NFL quarterback, seeks revival

Photo by Edwin Perez ’18 | Jon Kitna was hired as the new coach and was introduced to coaches, players and faculty members for the first time on Feb. 19.

By Josh Belgrad ’19

THE ROUNDUP

Brophy announced the hiring of new head football coach Mr. Jon Kitna on February 15th.

Kitna played in the NFL for 16 years and recently coached at Lincoln High School in Tacoma, Washington.

Athletic director Mr. Bill Woods said that the process war arduous.

“The hiring process was long and tedious and almost 100 people applied and coach Kitna actually came in late, almost before we were about to name finalists and he became a finalist.” Mr. Woods said.

Mr. Woods had many conversations with Mr. Kitna throughout the process and noted the many options he had to contemplate.

“What’s interesting is that Jon Kitna knew he was leaving his old school and had a lot of options of what he wanted to do, whether it was on the professional, collegiate or high school levels,” Mr. Woods said.  “We’re fortunate he chose high school and we’re fortunate he chose Brophy.” Principal Mr. Bob Ryan also had a large role throughout the hiring process.

“I led the committee and I ultimately hired him and signed the contract,” Mr. Ryan said. “I take hiring really seriously so I chair the hiring process for each coach and teacher.”

Mr. Ryan discussed the importance of the hiring process and the uniqueness of a Brophy coaching position.

“Coaching here at Brophy has an added burden of not just leading their teams to success on the field or in the pool, but to do so in ways that are consistent with our unique missions and identity,” Mr. Ryan said.

Mr. Ryan also mentioned the fact that Mr. Kitna had other opportunities but really wants to make an impact on the young men he will be working with.

“From the very first conversation I have had with him it has been clear to me that he is interested in forming young men and that is why he is here,” Mr. Ryan said. “He is fired up about being in a place where he can talk about his relationship with God and engage kids on their own spiritual journeys through the vehicle of football.”

Mr. Kitna said he is really focused on turning this football program around step by step.

“My first goal is to get here and know the kids and have the kids know me,” Mr. Kitna said. “We will get set with a 30 day, a 60 day, and a 90 day goal before the season. We also have to dominate the weight room, because what we do in there will be directly reflected on the field on Friday nights.”

Mr. Kitna said that his long football career has given him the tools to succeed as a coach.

“I have a good knowledge of all three phases of the game, but the biggest thing that helps me is that I can relate to a lot of different types of people because in the NFL and college that’s all it is,” Mr. Kitna said.

For football players, Mr. Kitna gave a little taste of what to expect.

“A lot of fun, high demand for doing things the right way and giving maximum effort and detail in all that you do,” Mr. Kitna said. “Lastly, being excellent. That’s what Brophy is built on.”

The new era of coaching at Brophy officially began on Monday April 23rd as the team began Spring Football with Head Coach Mr. Jon Kitna at the helm.