New York Post

High school football coach goes viral for surprising reaction to player quitting

A California football coach has gone viral, acquiring 1.5 million views on Twitter, for his positive reaction in response to one of his players quitting the team.

Kurt Hines, a fifth-year coach at Coronado High School, said in a Sept. 15 tweet that an unnamed player — who had season-long difficulties attending practice, making a commitment and looking happy — entered Hines’ office to inform his coach of the decision to quit. He’d cleaned his equipment, tucked it into a green Coronado duffle bag and set it on a chair underneath a Vince Lombardi poster, with the message “The measure of who we are is what we do with what we have” typed across the page.

He shook his coach’s hand, but before exiting, Hines asked him to sit down. Instead of criticizing his decision to leave the team, Hines listened as the player talked about how his family has always been a football family, a sport that both his dad and brother loved. But then Hines asked the player whether he loved football the same way. 

“No,” his player said, breathing a deep sigh of relief.

That made Hines proud. “I had just had a young man come in and quit, and I couldn’t be happier,” he said to open the video. “I truly could not be happier.”

Football isn’t for everyone, he told the player. He was doing the right thing by stepping away. Then, after that message, Hines saw the player’s “whole countenance change” and a smile spread across his face.

Coaches from various schools around the country have replied to Hines’ video — some supporting his decision, some countering it because of the message that sends — but Hines reiterated his support in his responses, saying his stance to back the player’s decision hasn’t changed.

“Coaches, support your players if they want to be great,” said Hines, who has led the Islanders to three consecutive wins this year since a season-opening loss. “And if they want to be great in something other than football, support them just the same.”

Credit: Andrew Crane