Hawaii football: Philadelphia Eagles assistant, former Tulsa quarterback GJ Kinne hired as UH offensive coordinator

GJ Kinne threw a pass against Hawaii in the Hawaii Bowl on Dec. 24, 2010. / Star-Advertiser file photo by George F. Lee

The following appears on the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s breaking news.

The Hawaii football team has reached to the NFL for its offensive coordinator.

Gary Joe “GJ” Kinne, who spent the past season with the Philadelphia Eagles as an offensive assistant, has been tabbed to direct head coach Todd Graham’s vertical-stretch, no-huddle attack.

Kinne is familiar to both Graham and Hawaii football fans. Kinne threw for 343 yards and three touchdowns in leading Tulsa to a 62-35 victory over Hawaii in the 2010 Sheraton Hawaii Bowl. Graham was head coach of the Golden Hurricane.

Kinne began his college career at Texas, where he redshirted as a freshman in 2007. The following spring, he transferred to Tulsa. He redshirted again in 2008 in accordance with NCAA transfer rules. But he seized the starting quarterback’s job in 2009, embarking on a three-season run in which he amassed 9,472 passing yards and 81 touchdowns.

Kinne had signed free-agent contracts with the New York Jets, New York Giants and Eagles.

In 2017, he was hired as an assistant coach at SMU under Chad Morris. When Morris resigned after the regular season to join Arkansas, Kinne was elevated to SMU’s offensive coordinator for the 2017 Frisco Bowl. After that, Kinne went to Arkansas as an offensive analyst.

This past season, he worked with the Eagles’ special projects.

GJ Kinne with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2014. / Associated Press file photo


Also, our Stephen Tsai tweeted that UH’s former defensive coordinator under Nick Rolovich, Corey Batoon, is on his way to Liberty as the Flames’ new DC.


  1. H-Man February 1, 2020 6:09 am

    Although limited, actually no experience as an OC, he may just surprise us. I am anxious to see how his offense performs.

  2. A-House February 1, 2020 11:09 am

    believe most of us will wait to express our judgment on new coach and staff until the 1st 4 games are done — for some, including me, it may be sooner than 4 games!!!

    most disappointed in Matlin’s requirements for the new HC position and then make a surprised decision based on what his “experts/close associates” expressed — who are they? very big donors to football? any football expertise?

    special teams strategy for ‘ on-side’ kick with a minute to play — ie, UH 23 — Boise ST 21 ( after TD and PAT ) — no time-out for either team — as kicker starts his approach to the ball, one or more UH players cross the LOS for an off-side penalty and 5 yards — repeat 2 or 3 more times – this “shortens” the playing field by some 15 yards – now, Boise ST kicking from the 50 yard line — compact UH ” hands-players ” within the 35 – 40 yard lines to secure the ball — have ‘front-line’ players charge ahead to hold back kicking team and preserve a victory.

    ah, the beauty of ‘fantasy football’

  3. Hawai'iOnly February 1, 2020 4:28 pm

    Other than retaining Yoro and Abe seems like all the hire since have created some football edition bible study. All but one are non essential assistants. This worries me that they are not skilled in the name of their job title. I’d be a little more optimistic if they were a “journeyman” in the job title they now carry. Might just be my construction background leading my train of thought but I’d rather have a seasoned vet in the appreciate trade vs. a Jack of all trades master of none. Cant wait to see how this all unfolds.

  4. BigIslandLava February 2, 2020 6:31 am

    Though I am local and would always welcome a deserving local product added to the coaching staff, but being local is not a requirement for me as much as having someone who can continue our winning ways. I wouldn’t care less if the new coach was an alien from Mars. Just win.

  5. Central PA February 2, 2020 7:50 am

    Residing in PA and only getting to a few away games at Army, Michigan and UNLV and lurking most of the time. I found this article as an Eagles fan that gives a more complete picture of Coach Kinne and his time with the Eagles from a beat writer https://www.bleedinggreennation.com/2020/1/31/21117647/gj-kinne-eagles-haiwaii-rainbow-warriors-offensive-coordinator-college-football-nfl-news

  6. Whats Up February 2, 2020 11:53 pm

    Watching KC offense, reminds me of Hawaii offense under June Jones, Rolo and Stutz. Going for it on 4th down, running the option, dinking and dunking then hit them with the long ball. I’m interested to see what Graham offense can do… it sounds like it should be explosive fast hitting.

  7. Willie February 4, 2020 4:01 pm

    Quiet on Warrior football front as to coaching staff. But in Pullman Rolo announced yesterday that former UH coaches Smith, Stutzmann, Weber & Allen officially hired on the offensive side. Of these 4 I really liked the job Weber did with the O-Line & he’ll continue here @ WSU.

  8. H-Man February 4, 2020 4:56 pm

    Yeah, been a bit too quiet. Also quiet on recruiting. I take the silence to be an unsuccessful closing recruiting season. Catch up next recruiting cycle.

  9. H-Man February 4, 2020 6:13 pm

    Well, just as I complained about slow recruiting, 247sports reports two Texas WRs are confirmed “hard commits.” The two are Jay Wilkerson and Riley Wilson. Jay will be Hawaii’s highest rated recruit according to 247 at a composite grade of 0.8540. The Texas pipeline seems to be humming.

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