Jon Kitna grew up in Tacoma, Washington and helped Central Washington University to an NAIA Football National Championship in 1995. Upon earning his degree in math education he pursued a high school coaching career before being noticed by the head coach of the Seattle Seahawks, who offered him a spot on their practice squad. After the 2006 NFL season he was sent to play in NFL Europe and helped the Barcelona Dragons to a World Bowl championship. In 1997 and 1998 he served as the Seahawks primary backup before taking over as the Seahawks starter in 1999 and leading them to an AFC West championship in his first season. Kitna played four seasons with the Seahawks and then signed with the Cincinnati Bengals in 2001. In 2003 he earned NFL Comeback Player of the Year honors and would go on to play with the Bengals until 2005. From 2006 to 2013 he saw time with both the Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys, and ended his career with 29,745 passing yards and 169 career touchdowns.