How many coaches would stick around for six years at one school after winning just three games in those six season? Two of those wins coming by way of forfeit.
Matt Kitchie has done just that at Leto. Handcuffed by lack of participation, few resources, little parental support, staff and limited talent, Leto has not been very successful since the late 90’s. A big part of ammeter athletics are wins and loses. However, life lessons and opportunities are just as important.
Coach Kitchie is a walking example every day for Leto football players. When the job opened up over six years ago, there was not a line of applicants itching for the job. Kitchie and his Falcons did not win a single game his first three seasons on the field and just one win since. But sticking it out watching his program slowly progress has opened the eyes of his peers and earned him respect from fellow coaches.
Yesterday Kitchie was was named National Football Foundation, Tampa Chapter Billy Turner Coach of the Year. Past winners include championship coaches Robert Weiner and Sean Callahan along with Mike DePue and last year’s winner Andres Perez-Reinaldo.
Others taking home honors:
W.C.O.A. Hospitality Award: Hillsborough High School
PCA Lifetime Achievement Award (Assistant Coach): Steve Longfellow, Hillsborough
PCA Lifetime Achievement Award (Head Coach): Robert Paxia, Plant City
Roland Acosta Assistant Coach of the Year: Earl Garcia III, Hillsborough