Life Goes On: Retired NFL Quarterback Now A High School Teacher


Photo Credit: John Gamez

After fifteen years of playing quarterback in the NFL, Jon Kitna had informed his current team [Dallas Cowboys] early January that it was time for him to throw in the towel and retire from the sport of American football.

The quarterback, who signed with the Seattle Seahawks in 1996 managed to play for three other NFL franchises [Bengals, Lions, and Cowboys] before finally closing the last chapter of his NFL career.

Jon Kitna was the understudy to Hall of Fame quarterback, Warren Moon in Seattle. Kitna then started for the Bengals for four years [2001-2005] before becoming a mentor to upcoming star QB, Carson Palmer out of USC. Jon Kitna went on to play for the Lions and the Cowboys for two years, with Dallas being his last stop.

At the beginning, Jon Kitna never really had intentions of playing in the NFL. Coming out of Central Washington University, despite being a successful quarterback, Kitna’s primary focus was his career in education. Kitna majored in Math and had the goal of one day becoming a teacher.

Jon Kitna was so serious about being an educator that he had actually applied for his first teaching position before even committing and signing with an NFL team.

Who would’ve known? A respected professional NFL quarterback who played with some of the strongest men in the gridiron is now in a classroom educating children at Lincoln High School in Tacoma, Washington.

Not only is Jon Kitna teaching now, he has also been given the opportunity to mentor young children through workouts in the weight room. For Jon Kitna, teaching and coaching in the same school he once attended is a true accomplishment in its own right.

There are not too many NFL players that could literally say they had a stronger passion for something else other than football. Jon Kitna can now embrace this thought as his actions spoke louder than words when he made his initial dream come true.

Jon Kitna’s years of playing football might be complete, but his teaching career has just begun.

Sources: Seattle Times, NFL

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8 Responses to Life Goes On: Retired NFL Quarterback Now A High School Teacher

  1. Jeremy Wiebe says:

    Good story. I wish Kitna all the best. He is smart. He prepared for life after football. He should give a lecture to current NFL players on how to prepare for what is to happen when the NFL days are over.

    • CDR says:

      Thanks Jeremy for the comment. It’s definitely a great story. There are so much negative news about retired athletes nowadays, it’s finally good to hear a positive one.

  2. tophatal says:

    Kudos to Kitna ! At least he’s fulfilling a life-long ambition unlike so many other athletes who leave the game. Consider former Vikings’ quarterback Robert Smith ….. he went back to school, got his degree in medicine and could have gone on to become a pediatrician. Got offers from renowned establishments across the nation, but he turned them all down to become a college football analyst. And he’s proving to be really good in that endeavor.

    Let me know what you think about this piece on TO & McNabb? Click on link to view .

    • CDR says:

      Kitna should definitely be considered a great example to retired NFL players and to young athletes who are currently still playing. It’s not often you hear great stories such as this one.

  3. Good for Kitna, man.

    I remember that year when, as Lions quarterback, he guaranteed ten wins. Everyone laughed at him, but little did he realize how close the Lions would eventually come to reaching that number.

    This year could be that year, no?

    • CDR says:

      It’s great when you hear guys like Kitna do more with their lives. It’s definitely a “feel-good” story. As for the Lions, they have arrived. Ten wins should be a given for this young and talented club.

  4. Nice article. I think It was time for Kitna to do something else. Glad you followed up on him…

    • CDR says:

      Thanks for stopping by Steven! Yes, it’s always great to hear athletes do something productive after their sports careers. It’s definitely a breath of fresh air when you hear great stories such as Kitna’s.


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