Photo: Sherry Milliken/TexasHSFootball

WAXAHACHIE, Texas — Jon Kitna, a 16-year NFL veteran and 3-year athletic coordinator and head football coach at Waxahachie High School, resigned from the position Friday.

The official announcement, at approximately 2 p.m., was first reported by the Waxahachie Daily Light.

“It has been a great journey the last three years of digging deep, embracing the grind, chasing a lion and developing a brotherhood that will never end,” Kitna said in a recent statement. “I am a better man of God, husband, father, coach, and mentor because of the opportunity to grow, love and be loved by the young men in this program.”

According to the report, Waxahachie ISD Athletic Director Greg Reed has named Aaron Woods, who currently functions as the Indians’ offensive coordinator, the interim head coach during the coaching search.

Before Kitna’s arrival Waxahachie had won just five of 15 games during David Ream’s final two seasons as head coach. Two of those games came during district play.

Photo by Sherry Milliken/TexasHSFootball

Kitna guided the Indians to 20-13 record — including a state top ten ranking in 2016 — and a 2017 run to the UIL 5A regional quarterfinals. It was the first time since 2012 a Waxahachie team had made the playoffs.

“I celebrate the accomplishments of these young men who laid a foundation, used costly materials and began building a culture of REAL men and championship style football,” the statement continued. “I am proud of turning around a program that had fallen on dire times.”

He also led the Indians to three consecutive “Battle of 287” victories against county rival Ennis High School and bi-district and area championships last season.

After retirement from the NFL, Kitna returned to his alma mater at Lincoln High School in Tacoma, Washington and led the Abes to 24-8 record and three postseason appearances in three seasons. He signed his initial contract with Waxahachie ISD Feb. 9, 2015, an agreement valued at $95,000 per documents provided through an open records request by a reader of the Daily Light.

Former Waxahachie Indian and current Horned Frog freshman Jalen Reagor out jumps SMU defenders for a touchdown before halftime of a Saturday matchup at Amon G. Carter Stadium. Courtesy TCU Communications

He is highly regarded with aiding in the growth of Texas Christian University’s Jalen Reagor and Kennedy Snell, two of highest rated recruits in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex during the 2017 recruiting period. Reagor earned the Big 12 Conference’s Co-Offensive Freshman of the Year Award in November.

Recent Army signee Jarretth Sterns spent a year as an Indian. Those under his tutelage also include four-star athlete Demani Richardson, the No. 6 safety in the nation and No. 17 recruit in Texas according to 247Sports’ Class of 2019 Composite Rankings, and Jack York, a three-star offensive tackle signed with the University of Minnesota.

Per a report from Sporting News’ journalist Alex Marvez, the Bengals interviewed Kitna Jan. 9 for for its previously vacant quarterbacks coach position. The Indians currently have no head coach or defensive coordinator, as Kitna filled both roles.

Waxahachie ISD recently moved up to 6A after posting re-enrollment figures of 2,235. It will be the program’s first year on the UIL’s highest classification.

Multiple sources say  Todd Peterman, recently resigned from DeSoto ISD after leading the Eagles to a 10-2 record and the area round of the UIL Class 6A playoffs, could be a candidate.

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