If you’re on Twitter, Kurt Hines’ face probably looks familiar to you.
The Coronado High (Calif.) head coach blitzes his audience of more than 50,000 followers with a steady stream of first-person videos, inspiring messages and commentary on high school football.
The Twitter profile is only a part of Hines’ growing multimedia empire. He also has a blossoming Instagram page (5,000-plus followers), a website, a YouTube channel, CoachTube videos, podcast appearances, and he is available for public speaking engagements.
“I fought it for the longest time,” Hines said of social media. “I teach in an elementary school, so it’s not something I really use for that. Back when we lived in New Hampshire, my wife would have to watch the Friday Night Lights newscast while I was at the stadium. I’d start texting her, ‘Who won this game, and who won that game?’ She kept saying I should get on Twitter for no other reason than to get the scores.”
Hines joined Twitter in 2014 and soon after posted a video that resonated with his audience of coaches.
“My philosophy on Twitter is it’s a free platform,” Hines said. “If you have a message that you want to share, why wouldn’t you? It’s like a free billboard on the highway.”
The message Hines often chooses to share is one of inspiring athletes and other coaches.
“I use my social media platform the same way I coach — to empower people,” Hines said.
THE REAL DEAL
In the age of social media, it’s only natural for an audience to question the authenticity of an “influencer”. Hines is cognizant of the fact that if you’re making money off of your platform, you need to make sure you’re aligning with people and products you believe in.
“One of the best compliments I ever received came from one of my players who was being interviewed by a news reporter,” Hines said. “She asked him about my platform, and he said, ‘What the world sees, we get to see every day in practice.’ It was validation from a player that I had coached for three years.”
The cost of posting thoughts and opinions to social media is that there will always be somebody who disagrees. Hines is not immune to this.
“Sometimes I post something that people hate,” Hines said. “It happened a couple of months ago. People came after me and attacked me with horrible things.”
The perceived offense? Hines criticized the fact that Dr. Seuss was being cancelled for a history of racist art in his books while current musical artists who share offensive lyrics are not challenged. Two of Hines’ followers took issue with this stance.
“You’re never going to have everyone agree with everything you say,” Hines said. “I never even specified a genre of music, and I had two people tell me I revealed myself as a racist. My 26-year-old daughter, Abby, is married to a black man — one of the best people I know. He lived with us during the pandemic. There’s country music that talks about more offensive topics than the Dr. Seuss books. That was my point, and I stand by it.”
Kurt Hines, Coronado High (Calif.) Head Coach
YouTube: Coach Kurt Hines