Baylor hires coach who was shot by parent

Updated: January 13, 2006, 1:25 AM ET
Associated Press

WACO, Texas -- Gary Joe Kinne, the East Texas high school football coach who police say was critically shot by a parent last year, has been hired to coach linebackers at Baylor, his alma mater.

Kinne lost 80 percent of his liver in the April 7 shooting, but returned to coach Canton to its best season in school history.

"I probably wouldn't have left Canton for any high school job," said Kinne, who was a standout linebacker at Baylor from 1986-89. "But when you have an opportunity like this, you have to take it."

Kinne said he doesn't know whether his son, G.J. Kinne Jr., will remain in Canton for his senior year or transfer to a school near Waco. The younger Kinne was named Class 3A offensive player of the year by The Associated Press in December and is regarded as one of the top quarterback prospects in the country.

His father said his move to Baylor doesn't mean his son will wind up playing for the Bears in college.

"There's always a possibility he could go to Baylor," Kinne said. "But his options are still out there."

Kinne was 28-8 in three seasons at Canton. Last year's team was 12-2 and advanced to the Class 3A Division II quarterfinals, the farthest playoff run in school history.

Police say Kinne was shot by Jeff Doyal Robertson, the father of one of Kinne's former players. Robertson, whose attorneys have conceded was the gunman, is charged with aggravated assault on a public servant. The trial is set to begin Feb. 21.

During halftime of Canton's first home game following the shooting, Kinne received the Baylor Legend Award from Grant Teaff, who was his head coach when Kinne played for the Bears.

"Gary Joe is a young and energetic coach, a very good X and O man," head coach Guy Morriss said Thursday in making the announcement. "He's an upbeat person and his personality should make him a very strong recruiter for our program. He's excited about coming back to Baylor and will relate well to our players."

Kinne fills the vacancy created by the departure of Mark Nelson, who was named Tulsa's co-defensive coordinator and defensive line coach. Morriss said assistant coach Chris Lancaster would take over Nelson's duties as the Bears' special teams coordinator.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press