Longtime Mount Si football coach Charlie Kinnune retires after 30 years: ‘I am forever grateful’

Longtime Mount Si football coach Charlie Kinnune is retiring from his post after 30 years, he confirmed to SBLive Thursday.

In a letter posted to the Mount Si football team’s website, Kinnune broke the news and thanked his family, the school administration, his coaching staff and former players for the support. He retires with a 176-121 career record.

“I can say with pride that I had my dream job for 30 years,” Kinnune, who was hired in 1992, wrote. “The Snoqualmie Valley Community has treated me with the greatest respect, for that I am forever grateful.”

Kinnune’s tenure was marked with many postseason appearances, most recently a run to the 4A state semifinals as a double-digit seed in 2019. The Wildcats went 5-5 in fall 2021 and lost to Puyallup in the state 4A preliminary round.

His retirement opens perhaps the most desirable current head football coaching vacancy in the state, due to Mount Si’s administrative and community support, new facilities and the growth of the Snoqualmie Valley. Kinnune said he wants to be a leader within the transition after the choice is made to find his replacement. The job has not been posted yet.

Here is Kinnune’s full letter posted to the Mount Si football team’s website:

“Today I met with my team and announced my retirement from coaching football at Mount Si High School. After 30 years at the helm of the football program I have decided to hang up my whistle. I can say with pride that I had my dream job for 30 years. The Snoqualmie Valley Community has treated me with the greatest respect, for that I am forever grateful. 

In April of 1992 I was named Head Football Coach at Mount Si High School. From that time forward I gave the Mount Si Wildcats every ounce of energy I had. Luckily, I did not do this alone. Without the support of my family, I could not have concentrated my efforts like I did. To go 30 years with all the time away from home, the support from home was crucial. To my wife Melissa and kids Jordin and Kaelin I love you and thank you.  To my mom, sisters and mother in law you too have always been there for us – Love you, Thank you.  I was extremely lucky to assemble a coaching and support staff where many of us were together for 15, 20 and 25 years, many were former players. That is a luxury most head coaches do not have. Your loyalty to the players, through our program, is commendable and I am grateful. I count my lucky stars for this support and loyalty every day. The ability to offer our families and players continuity was crucial to our success. For 30 years the administration, at MSHS, has embraced athletics and supported our student athletes and coaches to the best of their ability. As a coach it has always been comforting to know that the leaders in our educational community support athletics.

To my players, What can I say? You made it all worth it. The work you put in, the sacrifice you exemplified inspired me. The countless hours we put in together will be remembered forever. There are certainly coaches out there that have won more games but I would say nobody spent more time with their players than I did. I always felt my best ability was my availability. Thanks for stepping up and meeting the challenge of being present. To the parents – I ‘tip my cap’ to you for the support of your boy’s in the football program. I always viewed our relationship as a partnership. We were in this together. We came together to give our guys the best experience they could have. When the adults are on the same page the kids will flourish. 

I will forever be connected to this community. I am not going anywhere. I want to be a leader in the transition from the outgoing staff to the new staff. These are exciting times for Wildcat Football. The future is bright. Good things are right around the corner. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. It has been my honor to serve as your Head Football Coach.

Charlie Kinnune”

(Lead photo by Vince Miller)

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