Texas State announces GJ Kinne as new head football coach

Texas State wasted no time in finding a new football coach, as the Bobcats hired University of Incarnate Word head coach GJ Kinne to take over the program.

Kinne took charge of the Cardinals in the 2021 season and led the team to its third conference championship, a 10-1 aggregate record and a national starting berth in the 2022 Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) playoffs.

“We are thrilled to have GJ leading the next era of Texas state football,” said Texas State Athletic Director Don Coryell. “We had a tremendous pool of candidates and interest in the role, and Coach Kinne stood out from the rest as he is a proven thought leader behind a new wave offense, a champion with an NFL background and a Texas-rooted pedigree. He also believes in a player-centric culture and full player development, which benefits our student-athletes as they fight and represent Texas State University on and off the field. We are poised for new heights in the state of Texas and Coach Kinne rose to the top as the right leader for the Bobcats.”

Though Kinne will end his tenure at UIW as the Cardinals look to win the FCS National Championship, the former Tulsa standout is looking forward to starting in San Marcos.

“I am honored to accept the call as the Texas State Bobcats’ next head of soccer,” said Kinne. “My family and I can’t wait to begin the next chapter of our lives in San Marcos. Thank you to the President [Dr. Kelly] Damphousse and Don Coryell for giving me the opportunity of a lifetime. I’m looking forward to hitting the ground running and fighting for championships. We will surround our players with excellent coaches who are teachers at heart. We’ll play fast, have unrelenting energy and, when push comes to shove, have the mental confidence to win close games in the second half and represent Texas State.”

After a year at the University of Texas during his college career, Kinne transferred to Tulsa, where he became one of the most prolific passers in program history with 9,472 yards and 81 touchdowns.

Kinne, who has played on several professional teams in both the NFL and Canadian Football League, began his coaching career at SMU under then-football coach Chad Morris before following him to the University of Arkansas in the 2018 season.

Kinne then made the jump to the NFL to become an offensive assistant with the Philadelphia Eagles and work on offensive special projects.

Kinne’s first major coaching position came in 2020 when he became the offensive coordinator for the University of Hawaii’s Rainbow Warriors, where he helped lead them to a 5-4 overall record, including a win over the University of Houston in the New Mexico Bowl.

Kinne then moved on from Hawaii to become co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at the University of Central Florida, where the Knights had another successful season with a 9-4 and bowl win over the University of Florida Gators.

Kinne received his first head coaching position when he took over from the late Eric Morris to manage UIW.

With transfer quarterback Lindsey Scott Jr. leading the offense, the Cardinals become the most successful offense in FCS, with UIW claiming their third Southland Conference title in program history.

The President of the State of Texas, Dr. Kelly Damphousse, explained that during the hiring process he wanted a coach who would only succeed but also be able to make connections with the entire Texas High School football community.

“My goal was to hire someone with proven leadership experience, success as a head coach, established relationships with Texas football coaches, and success recruiting and developing players,” Damphousse said. “I was looking for a leader with a plan to leverage our location in the heart of some of the best high school football in the country and who was willing to accept the challenge of reviving the national championship success we have enjoyed in the past.”

Now, Damphousse wants to make sure Kinne and his coaching staff are able to achieve the goals the Bobcat football team wants to achieve by overhauling the Bobcats infrastructure.

“It was also important for our next coach to understand that my commitment to greater institutional support for football comes with an expectation of success on the field, including the minimum goal of quickly building a team fit for the Bowl,” said Damphousse. “Having met with several candidates from all walks of life this week, I realized Coach Kinne is the right person to take our football program forward. My job now is to make sure he and his coaches have the infrastructure and financial resources they need to compete for conference championships on a regular basis.”

Kinne takes over the program after former head coach Jake Spavital was fired after four seasons at San Marcos. Spavital finished his tenure with an overall record of 13-35. The Bobcats ended the 2022 season 4-8.

Texas State will unveil Kinne at a 2:30 p.m. press conference Wednesday as the 21st head coach in program history