Community Members Talk About Coach Kinne's Decision To Leave Canton - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

1/12/06-Canton

Community Members Talk About Coach Kinne's Decision To Leave Canton

Today, Canton ISD officials told us that Coach Gary Joe Kinne is leaving Canton.

Coach Kinne is set to become a linebacker's coach at Baylor University. The school is his alma mater. 

During his tenure, Coach Kinne did not just have an impact on his players, he impacted the entire town of Canton. When he was shot last April, residents say the community became closer. They also say Coach Kinne will be hard to replace.

"He's been an inspiration, you know, coming back from the incident that happened last year and leading the team to the best record we've had. It's a wonderful experience and I'm glad to have been apart of it," said Casey Cummings, Canton resident. The Canton Athletic Booster Club got ready this afternoon for the school's football banquet tonight. Members say the news is still a shock.

"We're kind of in ah right now," said Reagan Sumner, Athletic Booster Club president. "Coach Kinne at a certain point in time, the kind of coach he is, is going to go to a higher level of coaching, so this is something that is not a surprise for him going, but we didn't expect it to be this soon." During lunch, those at Down Home Cafe in Canton talked about what Coach Kinne has accomplished.

"He's taken the team farther then they've ever gone before you know and he's instilled a winning attitude in the kids," said Anthony Fitzgerald, Canton resident. "That's something they haven't had in a long time."

"We're losing someone that's really a good person, but I'm proud of him and he's going to get to do something great with his life," said Margaret Hoot, Canton Resident.

Booster Club members say they expect about 500 people at the banquet tonight.

Molly Reuter, reporting. mreuter@kltv.com

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