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by Scott Bennett    Thu, Jan 12, 2006, 10:30 PM

Coach Gary Joe Kinne
Canton football coach Gary Joe Kinne, who survived a near-fatal shooting last April said Thursday he is resigning to become a Baylor assistant coach.

Kinne returned to coaching in September after being shot in the school's athletic field house April 7. In December, Canton reached a school-best quarterfinal round of the Class 3A Division II state playoffs.

Kinne, a 1989 Baylor graduate, was a standout Southwest Conference linebacker under former Bears coach Grant Teaff. He’ll coach linebackers for Baylor coach Guy Morriss.

“It’s always been a goal of mine to coach in college,” Kinne said. ‘”It’s the only job I would have left for now.”

Kinne still is recovering strength and weight from severe liver injuries suffered in the shooting. A disgruntled parent walked into the Canton field house and shot Kinne, who was in critical condition for several weeks. Jeffrey Robertson, whose son played freshman football at Canton, is accused of shooting Kinne in the abdomen.

Kinne's son, G.J. is a junior third-year starting quarterback and was named the Class 3A Offensive Player of the Year. Kinne said his son likely would play at Canton for his senior year.

Kinne came to Canton in 2003 for his first head coaching job after working as an assistant at Mesquite High School. In his first season, he took a team that was 3-7 the previous year to an 8-3 record and their first playoff win in 39 years.

Canton, a town of about 3,500 people, is 60 miles east of Dallas.

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