SAN MARCOS, Texas – The architect of the nation's top offense, G.J. Kinne has been named the new head coach of Texas State football, Director of Athletics Don Coryell announced on Friday.
The 21st head coach in program history, Kinne will take over the Bobcats after constructing a conference champion, a top-10 nationally ranked team, and FCS playoff participant at UIW. The Cardinals won the Southland Conference title this year powered by an offense that averaged 52.9 points per game – the most by any NCAA Division I team (FBS and FCS). In November, Kinne was named a finalist for the 2022 Eddie Robinson Award, which is presented to the national coach of the year.
"We are beyond excited to have G.J. lead the next era of Texas State football," said Coryell. "We had a tremendous pool of candidates and interest in this role, and Coach Kinne stood out from them all as he is a proven mastermind behind a new-wave offense, a champion with an NFL background, and has a pedigree rooted in Texas. He is also a believer in a player-focused 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 at Texas State, and Coach Kinne rose to the top as the right leader for the Bobcats."
Kinne, who turned 34 on December 1, played in the NFL and CFL before embarking on a coaching career with stops at SMU, Arkansas, the Philadelphia Eagles, Hawaii, UCF and UIW. He has worked and played for some of the top offensive play callers, such as Gus Malzahn, Doug Pederson, Mike Norvell and Chip Kelly.
"It's with great honor that I'm accepting the call to be next head football coach of the Texas State Bobcats," said Kinne. "My family and I cannot wait to start the next chapter of our lives in San Marcos. Thank you to President Damphousse and Don Coryell for affording me an opportunity of a lifetime. I'm excited to hit the ground running and compete for championships. We are going to surround our players with excellent coaches, who down to their roots are teachers at heart. We are going to play fast, have relentless energy, and when the going gets tough, have the mental confidence to win tight games in the second half and represent the state of Texas. Eat 'Em Up!"
Kinne, who signed a five-year contract with Texas State, will remain the head coach of UIW through its run in the FCS Playoffs. The Cardinals host Furman on Saturday at Gayle & Tom Benson Stadium in San Antonio at 1 p.m.
"My goal was to hire someone with demonstrated leadership experience, success as a head coach, established relationships with Texas football coaches, and success with recruiting and developing players," said Texas State University President Kelly Damphousse. "I sought a leader with a plan to capitalize on our location in the heart of the best high school football in the country, and an eagerness to take on the challenge of re-kindling the national championship success we have enjoyed in the past.
"It was also important that our next coach understood that my commitment to increasing institutional support for football is coupled with an expectation for success on field, including the minimum goal of quickly building a team that is bowl eligible. After meeting with several candidates with a wide variety of experience this week, it became clear to me that Coach Kinne is right person to lead our football program forward. My job now is to ensure that he and his coaches have the infrastructure and financial resources they need to regularly compete for conference championships."
This season with UIW, Kinne led a squad that scored more than 31 points in all 12 regular season games and registered more than 50 points six times. The Cardinals currently have the nation's top offense at the Division I level with 582.4 yards per contest and won their 10 games in the regular season by an average margin of more than 37 points. They are also top-five in the FCS in most major offensive categories, including passing offense (2nd), passing efficiency (1st), completion percentage (3rd), as well as 20th in rushing offense.
Kinne has also led the development of a UIW roster that features a Walter Payton Award finalist in quarterback Lindsey Scott, Jr. and Buck Buchanan Award finalist in linebacker Kelechi Anyalebechi.
Prior to taking the reins of UIW, Kinne was the co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at UCF in 2021. Working again with Malzahn, who he played for while at Tulsa, the Knights beat Florida in the Union Home Mortgage Gasparilla Bowl and won nine games.
In 2020, he was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for Hawaii, which won the New Mexico Bowl over Houston.
Kinne worked one season in the NFL, serving as an offensive assistant for special projects for the Philadelphia Eagles in 2019. Under head coach Pederson, the Eagles reached the playoffs after winning the NFC East division.
Following a five-year professional playing career, Kinne got his start as a coach as a graduate assistant at SMU in 2017 and offensive analyst at Arkansas in 2018.
Kinne played in the NFL for the New York Jets (2012), Philadelphia Eagles (2013-15) and New York Giants (2015) as well as in the Canadian Football League for the Calgary Stampeders and Saskatchewan Roughriders in 2016.
A high-level quarterback recruit out of Canton and Gilmer High School in Texas, Kinne spent one year at Texas as a redshirt freshman before transferring to Tulsa. He sat out in 2008 due to NCAA transfer rules, but he went on to be a three-year starter for the Golden Hurricane. He threw for 9,472 yards and 81 touchdowns in the three seasons and helped lead Tulsa to bowl games in 2010 (Hawaii Bowl) and 2011 (Armed Forces Bowl). His career passing yards and passing touchdowns are currently the third-most in Tulsa's program history.
Kinne's father, Gary Joe, is a legendary high school football coach who was also an All-Southwest Conference linebacker at Baylor from 1986 to 1989. He went on to coach at Baylor after he was named national coach of the year in 2005 while coaching at Canton High.
Kinne, whose first name stands for Gary Joe, is married to his wife, Summer. They have two sons.
G.J. Kinne Profile
Birthdate (Age): December 1, 1988 (34)
Hometown: Mesquite, Texas
High School: Canton High School and Gilmer High School
Education: Tulsa, '11
2017: SMU – Graduate Assistant
2018: Arkansas – Offensive Analyst
2019: Philadelphia Eagles – Offensive Assistant, Special Projects
2020: Hawaii – Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
2021: UCF – Co-Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
2022: UIW – Head Coach (10-1, Southland Conference Champions)
- Redshirted in 2007
- Threw for 9,472 yards and 81 touchdowns as a three-year starter
- 2010 Conference USA Offensive Player of the Year
- MVP of the inaugural 2012 NFLPA Collegiate Bowl
- New York Jets – 2012
- Omaha Nighthawks (UFL) – 2012
- Philadelphia Eagles – 2013-15
- New York Giants – 2015
- Calgary Stampeders (CFL) – 2016
- Saskatchewan Roughriders (CFL) – 2016