Incarnate Word enters the 2022 season looking to defend their Southland Conference championship. The Cardinals will have a new head coach for the first time since 2018 as GJ Kinne steps into the role replacing Eric Morris who accepted the Washington State offensive coordinator position this offseason.
Kinne spoke with Zach McKinnell of The Bluebloods at Southland Media Day in Lake Charles, LA and Kinne spoke about what made the Incarnate Word job the one for his first head coaching opportunity:
“I think for me I’m a Texas guy… The ability to come back to Texas and raise my family here in the great city of San Antonio and San Antonio is the 7th most visited city in Texas so I think it’s a sleeping giant. We have something to offer that most other FCS programs don’t have. When you look at it from that aspect and you look at the team and what they’ve done and the job that Coach (Eric) Morris did the last couple years and what was coming back. It was just the right fit for me and my family. I feel like I made the right decision.”
Kinne also talked about some of the biggest challenges over his first few months as the head coach for the Cardinals:
“It’s been a lot of fun to be honest with you. I feel like I’ve hired a lot of really great coaches and we got a veteran team and core back so that always helps. We were able to hold onto those guys and that’s a big part of it. You look around the country right now… You got guys hopping in the portal left and right and we didn’t have that happen. That is a testament to our coaches and our players and the culture we have here at UIW.”
He also addressed the expectations for Incarnate Word this season and the message to the team throughout spring practices and summer workouts:
“It’s been our discipline and that’s the biggest thing. Then coming together as a team… We have new faces and a core group of guys that were here previously, but we added high school guys, transfer and JUCO kids. So just coming together as a team and meshing and developing that mental and physical toughness.”
Incarnate Word opens the 2022 season against Southern Illinois on September 3rd in a huge FCS out of conference matchup in Week 1. Our full interview with Incarnate Word HC GJ Kinne can be found on YouTube and all podcast streaming platforms.