Florida HS Football Intern, Jay Manson spoke to several players that played recently under head coach Joe Kinnan at Manatee. Kinnan announced Friday that he would not coach during the 2014 season with his future as Manatee’ s head coach being left uncertain after the season.

Here is what his former players had to say about him as a respected coach for over 30 plus years.

Cord Sandberg
QB
Class of 2013
Member of 2011 State Championship team

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1. What is the most important lesson you learned under Kinnan, either football wise or in life?
A: The main thing coach Kinnan told us was to “do right”. In the locker room, classroom and on and off the field. Just do right and you will be fine.

2. In your eyes as a former player what is Kinnan’s legacy?
A: I think he will be thought of as one of the best high school football coaches in the state and the country. He has to be with all of the state championships and players he had play at the next level.

3. What is something about Kinnan that people outside of Manatee may not know?
A: Well people may not know he is actually a pretty funny guy. He would always have us laughing at the beginning and end of practice. He would crack a joke about a player or coach sometimes and get everyone laughing.

4. What is your fondest memory playing for Kinnan?
A: My fondest memory would have to be being a part of a state championship team playing for coach Kinnan. He works hard and has a passion for the game and to be able to win it all for him was pretty special.

Trevon Walters
RB
Missouri Commit
Class of 2014

1. What is the most important lesson you learned under Kinnan, either football wise or in life?
A: The most important lesson I learned from Kinnan in football is discipline.

2. In your eyes as a former player what is Kinnan’s legacy?
A: In my eyes kinnan’s legacy is those 5 states championships and his return after beating cancer I’m not sure of the return but I think he retired like in 2002 & came back & 2005 that will never be forgotten.

3. What is something about Kinnan that people outside of Manatee may not know?
A: Something about him people may not know is he is very humble he takes the game of football very serious he’s just not a coach he’s a grandfather figure type he rarely smiles but when he does it’s amazing.

4. What is your fondest memory playing for Kinnan?
A: My fondest memory is when we played University school and when I did a front flip in the end zone to get the two points kinnan never shook [one of] his players hand during the game but that game he shook my hand I’ll never forget that.

Brooks Larkin
OL
Air Force commit
Class of 2014

1. What is the most important lesson you learned under Kinnan, either football wise or in life?
A: Coach Kinnan always emphasized two things. Be on time, and do right. That applies everywhere in life and it is what most successful people are based on.

2. In your eyes as a former player what is Kinnan’s legacy?
A: His legacy is unmatched around the country. He had a mind for the game that is unparalleled, but left behind something that brought the community together. Manatee isn’t just football, it’s a family.

3. What is something about Kinnan that people outside of Manatee may not know?
A: People may not know how much he loves Twizzlers. He has a weakness for those for some reason.

4. What is your fondest memory playing for Kinnan?
A: My fondest memory is winning. It’s what I came to Manatee to do, and it is something I have expected because of the program that Kinnan has built.

Anthony Lauro
RB/WR
Class of 2013
Member of 2011 state championship team

1. What is the most important lesson you learned under Kinnan, either football wise or in life?
A: Kinnan coached the players as if we were in college. Playing for akron now, I am already use to the practice styles and training thanks to him.

2. In your eyes as a former player what is Kinnan’s legacy?
A: Coach was a winner. He has an amazing win record and took his teams to several state championships.

3. What is something about Kinnan that people outside of Manatee may not know?
A: I heard he was a crazy driver.

4. What is your fondest memory playing for Kinnan?
A: My fondest memory was the day I started for his team