The Harrisburg school district has taken another step forward in starting a football program this fall.
On Wednesday, Harrisburg athletic director Steve Combs announced the district hired Travis Kinkade to be the school’s high school football head coach for the 2013 football season.
“It’s a great hire for us,” Combs said, “to bring in someone of Travis’ caliber, a person who has exceeded at every level in academics and athletics. He had a 3.9 GPA in high school and was an All-State lineman. We’re also bringing in someone who has experience at succeeding and will be a good role model for the kids.”
Kinkade is a 2004 graduate from Centralia High School, where he was a member of the school’s football and basketball state championship teams during the 2003-04 school year. He also played baseball at Centralia and the Panthers won a district title in that sport his senior year.
Kindkade was an All-State football player on both sides of the ball, as an offensive guard and as a defensive end. He was also an All-District player for the basketball team.
After high school, Kinkade attended Missouri State Western University and played football for the Griffons. He graduated in December 2007 with a degree in Health and Exercise Science and a minor in Spanish. He then attended the University of Missouri as a Graduate Assistant for Athletic Performance and graduated with his Masters of Education in Health Education and Promotion in May 2010.
Kinkade is currently working in his second year full-time in the Centralia school district as a Spanish teacher. This season, he was the freshman football head coach and the junior varsity boys basketball coach.
“When I first found out about the position, I got really excited,” Kinkade said. “Coming from Centralia, we play Harrisburg in basketball. They’ve always had really hard-working kids and are very well-coached. Their community supports them really well, so I’m really excited at getting the opportunity to coach at Harrisburg.”
Kinkade and his wife, Megan, a teacher at Mill Creek Elementary School in Columbia, have a 4-month-old daughter, Quinn.
Harrisburg is finalizing a junior varsity schedule for 2013. The Bulldogs will play JV and middle school football in 2013 before adding a varsity program for the start of the 2014 season.
“I really look forward to carrying all of the experience and lessons that I’ve learned into helping Harrisburg improve their already great tradition in producing quality kids,” Kinkade said. “I want to continue to develop them as people and as student-athletes.”
Combs said the hiring process is still ongoing for the rest of the football coaching staff. He said the district will hire two high school football assistants, a middle school football head coach and a middle school football assistant.
“I’m not coming here to build a football team,” Kinkade said. “I’m coming here to build a football program.”