Phoenix Brophy Prep announced Thursday afternoon that former NFL quarterback Jon Kitna will be its next football coach.
After a 14-year NFL career, helping groom Carson Palmer’s career in Cincinnati, Kitna coached high school football in Washington and Texas.
He led Lincoln High in Tacoma to 2013 and ’14 district titles, compiling a 25-7 record during his time there.
He will be part of Brophy Prep’s staff. He got to know the coaches and the school the last two weeks. He said he is impressed by the people and the facilities and can’t wait to get started. He still is tying up loose ends in Texas, before he makes the move before spring football begins at the end of April.
“They’ve got good guys plugged into the community,” Kitna said. “I’m excited. This year, God was doing something. The thing that excites me about Brophy, there are so many coaches there who have been doing it a long time. I want to be at a place 15 to 20 years.”
Kitna spent the last three years at Waxahachie High School, a one-school town in Texas, where he went 20-13, turning around a struggling program.
“When you’re watching Friday Night Lights, that was it,” Kitna said.
Kitna actually began his high school playing career at Tempe Marcos de Niza, but his family moved back to Tacoma after a year.
He said he has close ties with former Phoenix Moon Valley High and Northern Arizona quarterback Travis Brown, who is now a pastor in the Valley. Brown, through his work as Arizona State football team chaplain, hooked him up three years ago with former ASU coach Todd Graham, a former Texas high school coach, who also recruited Texas hard.
Kitna inherited a struggling Waxahachie program, going 6-4 his first two seasons, before reaching the Texas playoffs last season.
“I have good friends who live in Arizona,” said Kitna, who resigned last week from Waxahachie. “I was going to be on the move. One of my friends told me Brophy was open. I was able to connect myself with (Athletic Director Bill) Woods. It was really in the process the last two weeks.
“It came down to feeling like for them and for me that we share a common mission and vision, which is using athletics and academics to shape future leaders and men.”