March 9, 2020 – From Burleson Independent School District:
The Burleson Independent School District (BISD) names Coach Jon Kitna, former Dallas Cowboys quarterback coach and National Football League (NFL) player, as Head Football Coach and Athletic Coordinator at Burleson High School. Coach Kitna will bring nearly 10 years of professional and high school football coaching experience and 16 years as an NFL quarterback to his new position.
Trustees approved the hiring of Kitna at the March 9 board meeting based upon the unanimous recommendation of a selection committee, which included Athletic Director Kevin Ozee, high school and middle school principals, a parent, and a trustee/parent. Pictures from the board meeting and BHS meet-and-greet with students and coaches will be available HERE Tuesday, March 10.
“Burleson High School was looking for a head coach and athletic coordinator to build not only a strong program, but also strong relationships among students and the community,” said BISD Superintendent Dr. Bret Jimerson. “I believe the committee got it right in selecting Coach Kitna to lead the program.”
BISD Athletic Director Kevin Ozee said, “Coach Kitna brings a wealth of successful experience at multiple levels of football, and his grasp of coaching and leadership is exceptional. The most important quality of Coach Kitna’s program is coaching the total student in all aspects of life. He has a unique way of modeling and teaching his players, and I believe this hire will take the BHS community to a whole new level.”
“Football taught me lessons about character, integrity, and grit. My goal is to develop athletes and set them on a path to success at the next level, whatever that may be,” said Kitna. “My wife Jennifer and sons Jalen and Jamison, and I are excited to become part of the Burleson community, and I look forward to establishing a leadership factory through the avenue of a top-flight football program.”
Kitna began coaching high school at his alma mater, Lincoln High School, in Tacoma, Washington, before serving as Waxahachie High School’s Head Football Coach where he worked with TCU Wide Receiver and potential first-round NFL pick Jalen Reagor.
“Coach Kitna came into the program, changed the culture, and taught me how to be a R.E.A.L. man: reject passivity, empathize with others, accept responsibility, lead courageously,” said Reagor. “These things stuck with me throughout high school and my college career.”
TCU Football Head Coach Gary Patterson went on to say, “Coach Kitna is a great offensive mind and is a proven head coach. He knows what it takes to prepare to play at a higher level.”
Current Waxahachie Athletic Director Greg Reed worked with Kitna when he coached in Waxahachie. “I am excited for Jon and his opportunity to coach high school football again in Texas. I know he truly has a heart for leading young men.”
Kitna is widely known for playing 16 seasons with NFL teams, including the Dallas Cowboys, Seattle Seahawks, Cincinnati Bengals, and Detroit Lions. During his career as a professional and collegiate athlete, Kitna celebrated successes both personally and with his team.
Most recently, Kitna worked for the Dallas Cowboys as the quarterback coach. Former Dallas Cowboys Head Coach Jason Garrett said, “I cannot think of a better environment for a young man than to play high school football in a program run by Jon Kitna. He brings out the best in those around him and has a significant impact on the players at whatever level he has coached. The impact he will have on his student-athletes will be felt for the rest of their lives.”
Dallas Cowboys Football Club Chief Operating Officer Stephen Jones added, “Jon Kitna is an outstanding football coach and an even better person. He has proven to be a wonderful teacher of the game both at the high school and professional levels. He has a unique gift of bringing out the best in all of the people he works with, and his love and enthusiasm for sharing his knowledge of the game is a valued asset to any program at any level. As a football coach or a family man, he is the real deal and a champion.”
Pro Football Hall of Famer Mike Singletary knows Kitna through the Pro Athletes Outreach ministry. He said, “Coach Kitna is first of all a man of faith, a father, and husband. He’s a man of integrity and courage. As a football coach, he’s smart, and he’s a leader. He understands the game - and he can teach it. Any young man he coaches will be a better person first, and he’ll be a tremendous asset both on and off the field.”
Kitna will begin his role at Burleson High School March 10.
“Congrats to Burleson for an outstanding hire,” said University of Hawaii Head Coach Todd Graham. “Jon Kitna is simply one of the best football coaches I know, and he is an even better man. Burleson could not have hired a better role model, mentor, teacher, and coach who will prepare their student-athletes for the next level and a championship life.”
ABOUT BURLESON ISDBURLESON INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT serves more than 12,700 students across 18 schools and is recognized as a premier school district in the Dallas/Fort Worth-area. The mission of Burleson Independent School District is to engage and support every learner with a rigorous curriculum so that they graduate college and career ready.