Out Coaches vs. Out Players: One Group More Successful Than The Other?

We've shared many coming out stories of athletes in the past and look forward to posting more in the future.  Their courage and openness are inspirational to us and others.  We applaud the internal strength out athletes have and appreciate them leading by example. 

One of the worries most likely all of us had when coming out was how it would it change our lives.  Will it hold us back?  Will it lessen our opportunities in the future? 

We've seen some high profile athletes bring up concerns that they were treated differently because they were out ( Derrick Gordon: NBA Shut Me Out Because I'm Gay and Michael Sam: I Wouldn't Have Come Out The Way That I Did ). It's hard to say if these two coming out sagas have had an overall positive effect on other athletes considering bursting out of the closet.

This week, Outsports.com shared two updates to two well know coming out stories.  Instead of updating out athletes, Outsports.com gave us some great news about two coaches that have come out and since then have excelled in their careers.


Nathan Matthews is the head girls volleyball coach at Tecumseh High School in Ohio. On Monday, he was named heads boys volleyball coach at nearby Miamisburg High School. He is a sophomore at Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio. He is a double major in Sport Management and Business Management. He is 19.

That’s a pretty impressive list of accomplishments for someone 29, let alone 19 and still in school. But Matthews, who is openly gay, is ready for the job.

His being openly gay played zero role in his job interview, Matthew said, which didn’t surprise him.

“I wouldn't say I was surprised,” he told Outsports. “There are a lot of LGBT coaches in the volleyball world and I have never heard of it being an issue. I think the fact that it is such a non-issue says more about our society than it does about any particular generation. In my experience, acceptance and support has come from coaches, parents, and administrators as much as it has from players.” outsports.com


Softball coach Colin Christiansen has been hired by the Univ. of Maryland Baltimore County as an assistant coach, just weeks after coming out publicly as a gay man in sports. It is his first full-time job as a coach.

Arriving on campus as an openly gay coach, Christiansen found nothing but open arms on campus and in the athletic department.

“I have been totally accepted,” Christiansen said. “It is a known thing and has been talked about and supported a lot.”

He said he received nothing but incredible support from his colleagues at the Univ. of Tennessee as well, where he was working as a graduate assistant when he came out publicly on Outsports earlier this year.

That coming-out story, Christiansen said, hadn’t gone unnoticed by the athletic department at UMBC. The story was published while they were considering the hiring of Christiansen. In doing their due diligence, the school contacted revered UCLA softball coach Kirk Walker, who was the first D1 softball coach to come out publicly in 2006. Walker runs Equality Coaching Alliance, an organization for LGBT coaches.

“I think it is amazing progress that Equality Coaching Alliance is serving its members in job networking and professional opportunities,” Walker said. “Colin is a recent example, but we have seen several other networking opportunities from inside ECA that have led to jobs for members over the last year.” – outsports.com


For more on both of these advancing coaches, head over to the Outsports.com links at the end of the excerpts.

What do you think Instincters?

When a coach comes out compared to athletes …

  • Is it easier for one over the other?
  • Is there a difference in reactions?
  • Is there a difference in future possibilities?


h/t: outsports.com

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