St. John's Coach Kinnamon trades Tigers for Blue Aces

Fran Brownell
St. John News
Coach Clint Kinnamon led St. John-Hudson USD 350 Tigers to four state championships and other honors during his 19-year tenure with USD 350. He leaves St. John to take a head coaching position at Wichita East High School with the Blue Aces this summer.

ST. JOHN–Just one year short of a two-decade tenure coaching the St. John-Hudson USD 350 Tigers boys basketball team, head coach Clint Kinnamon has turned in his Tiger jersey to become head coach of Wichita East High School Blue Aces. With four state championships under his belt in a competitive 1A boys area, Kinnamon has decided it is time to move on.

Kinnamon said he was approached to apply for the East High position in May.

“It’s not really something I’d thought about,” said Kinnamon, whose wife Tara will remain on staff as SJHS business computer instructor.

But Kinnamon was, however, intrigued by the challenge, and along with the new coaching position he said he’s looking forward to teaching weight-training classes at Wichita East High when school resumes for the 2020-21 school year.

“I’ll have four weight-training classes,” Kinnamon said. “That’s exciting for me. That’s what my degree’s in. It’s what I always trained for and dreamed of doing.”

Coach Kinnamon is joined on the Blue Aces court by son Cade as assistant coach, which Kinnamon said makes a good combo because he expects Cade to challenge him, if and when needed.

“There’s lots of tradition at East High,” Kinnamon said. “The basketball program is very important to the school. Cade and I will both bring our best coaching efforts to the meet the challenge.”

St. John Tigers fans will remember Kinnamon for a slew of winning seasons that included 88% wins in the Central Prairie League, with Tigers taking first or second place in 18 of 19 years and third place one year.

In the Lions Club Mid-Winter Classic Competition Tigers took first four times, second six times and third three times.

In post-season play, Tigers racked up these successes: 66-10 for 87 percent average, 15 years reached sub-state finals, 11 years made state tourney, nine years, third or better and claimed four state championships, with one Final Four this season which was cut short due to COVID-19.

“Tigers’ overall record was 363-100 (78%),” Kinnamon said.

USD 350 St. John has hired former SJHS Assistant Basketball Coach Danton Hilton to succeed Kinnamon as the Tigers head coach.