Not your average Joe: Kines speaks in Demopolis

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 8, 2005

DEMOPOLIS – Joe Kines, the defensive coordinator for the Alabama football team, is not your ‘average Joe.’

Kines is a deeply religious man with strong leadership skills and a true passion for Jesus, kids, and football.

“My job is no different than yours,” Kines said.

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“I just work with a bunch of 18-20 year-old young men who’s main focus is 18-20 year-old girls.”

As a child, Kines grew up in a Christian home on the corner of 4th street where there was a Second Baptist Church.

“When I was a kid, I always shared a room with my brother and slept with him,” Kines said.

“I never slept by myself until after I got married.”

Around the age of 12, Kines realized that Jesus died for his sins.

And at that time, he asked Jesus to come into his life

“That is the proudest moment for me through thick and thin,” Kines said.

“God is a God of Friday.

It’s Friday, but Sunday is coming.”

Working in football almost his entire career, Kines remembers his days coaching in the NFL with Tampa Bay and trials and tribulations he faced as a believer.

“When I was at Tampa Bay with the Bucs, I was driving one day and I will never forget seeing that Texas tag,” Kines said.

“And next thing I knew, I was blind in my left eye.

And as I sat recovering, I repented for all my sins through the years.

A year later, it happened in my right eye.

And I thought to myself that I must have missed something during that time of repentance.”

And the best advice he received while sitting and trying to recuperate?

“You can get bitter or you can get better,” Kines said.

“And I decided to get better. So many times we want to say it’s just another day, God – I’m sorry I didn’t start my day off right.

But one thing I have learned to do daily is read my Bible from ‘In the beginning’ to ‘Amen.’

I read 15-20 minutes a day to begin my mornings every single day, and I have noticed that helps me to get through my days when I have God involved.”

When younger, the good times in life seem to come pretty often.

But, according to Kines, the older you get, the tougher things get.

“When you get older, you learn to appreciate the good times,” Kines said.

“And I get on my knees real quick and thank God for the good times – such as when we win a football game.”

Maybe it is an answered prayer to win a football game, but Kines learned true faith from one of the greatest college football coaches in Bobby Bowden.

“When I was at Florida State under Bobby Bowden, he was the youngest guy on the staff by far,” Kines said.

“But what he has and what he uses to be successful is a good dose of the Holy Spirit.

At every staff meeting, every day, he would begin with a prayer.

Praying, to Bobby Bowden, came naturally and it was just like him talking to a best friend.

It was as natural to him as breathing was.

I remember we were playing Oklahoma for the national championship and that Friday night Bobby got together with the players and told them ‘I won’t give up on you.’

And sometimes years later, these players will come back and say ‘I finally got it.’

In the athletic world, God is still alive and well.”

Along with God staying alive in the world of sports, Kines will be back at the defensive helm for the Tide next season.

And, at this point, Alabama’s defense looks to remain strong.

“Defensively, we have eight to nine guys returning from last year’s team,” Kines said.

“We’ve got a solid group of young men who work very hard and want to get better.

We should be okay on defense for next year.

Offensively, if we can keep our starters healthy, we will do well.

I am very excited about the potential we have and I am really looking forward to next year.”

According to Kines, his return to coaching at Alabama has been filled with joy and he truly believes in the leadership and knowledge of head coach Mike Shula.

“As far as coaching at Alabama, I am really glad to be back and thrilled to be working with coach Mike Shula,” Kines said.

“I truly believe he will go down in history as one of the all-time greats.

And those kids we have play really hard and are willing to put in the hard work and dedication needed to become successful.

I can’t wait until next season.”

Joe Kines is in his third year as Alabama’s defensive coordinator and linebacker coach.

Kines also serves as assistant head coach and has shown tremendous improvement over the last season.

In 2004, the Tide ranked No. 1 in the country in pass defense, No. 2 in scoring defense, and No. 1 overall in total defense.