Winning is all too familiar for Jason Kinchen, who was recently named the new head baseball coach at St. John High.
Kinchen, a Baton Rouge native, spent his high school career playing at Central Private High. After graduation, he moved on to play at Brewton Parker College in Georgia for two years where he was named a two-time All-American and helped lead his team to a National Championship in 1997.
Though he wasn’t drafted after college play, Kinchen spent three years playing independent ball in a professional league in Indiana.
In 2000, Kinchen was invited to attend the New York Yankees spring training program then served three years as a member of the Yankees organization. He followed up with one more year of independent ball in Illinois then thought it was time to hang up the cleats.
Kinchen then took a job as a customer service agent handling mortgages. “Obviously, this is not what I wanted to do for the rest of my life,” he said. Some time later, Kinchen was offered an assistant coaching job under Kyle Achord at his Alma Mater, Central Private, in 2003. “That’s when I found out that I loved coaching baseball.”
During his four year stint as assistant coach at CP, the school earned three state titles. In 2008, Kinchen was then offered the head coaching position at Central Private when Achord stepped down. Kinchen claimed another state title for the school in 2008 and served as head coach until 2015.
During his span as head coach, his teams won three state titles, six district titles and finished with an overall 208-45 record.
The head coaching job at St. John is not Kinchen’s first trip to Iberville Parish, however. In 2016, Kinchen was offered an assistant coaching position at Plaquemine High under current head coach Robert Primus.
Kinchen spent one year at the Iberville school before accepting an assistant coaching position at Live Oak in 2017. His team earned a second round appearance in the postseason, but lost to eventual champion Central High after 14 innings in round two.
Though he coached the Green Devils for a season, Kinchen became familiar with the St. John baseball culture. “During that time we played against St. John, I thought their facilities were really nice and they had some really good talent on their baseball team,” Kinchen said. “You could tell the community was behind the baseball program here. Anytime that happens it catches the coach’s eye and you’re able to see that this is a place I’d like to be.
“Everybody is on the same page here in making this a great baseball program. Seems like everyone I met so far is dedicated to the program.”
Kinchen was brought on board just as summer metro league wrapped up, but he will not waste any time implementing his game plan.
“I’m going to do thing the way I’ve always done, in my opinion, the right way to do things,” Kinchen said. “I’m going to implement my style of baseball into these kids. I’m a different type of coach. I think outside the box. Day one we are going to start with my system and hopefully we are all on the same page and we can get after it.”
Kinchen’s fall plans also include assistant coaching duties for the football team under newly named head coach James Piker. Kinchen will also take over the Athletic Director duties for middle school athletics.
“I’m looking forward to getting to know the students on a coach/player level. Also, I’m looking forward to meeting some of the parents of the school because when you are in the smaller schools, the parents play a vital role in the development of the program,” Kinchen said. “I’m extremely excited for this opportunity.”