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Kyle Hawkins

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Kyle Hawkins is the former head coach of the University of Missouri men's lacrosse team. In May 2006, he discussed his sexual orientation with several media outlets, including the New York Times and MSNBC.com after having revealed to his university and team that he was gay. In April 2007, the story again made media waves with an Associated Press story featured on MSNBC.com. In May 2007, his contract was not renewed. There was considerable disagreement for the reasons for not renewing his contract. Some allege it had to do with his newly disclosed sexual orientation; the team made public statements that it was because of his alleged negative reputation. Hawkins was named the first openly gay man coaching an intercollegiate men's team sport by ESPN.

BackgroundEdit

Hawkins was born in 1970 and brought up as a devout Southern Baptist in the St. Louis, Missouri suburb of Kirkwood. He attended Arizona State University where he was the president of a Southern Baptist student group. After college, he spent time as a high school teacher where he began coaching its new lacrosse team. Four years later, he was hired by the University of Missouri to coach their men's lacrosse team. He compiled a 112-49 record in his first eight years of coaching the team, including a conference championship in 2004 that gave the team a berth to the league's national tournament.[1] In 2004, he was selected as the coach of the year. Hawkins now identifies himself as Atheist.

Coming out of the closetEdit

On September 28, 2004, Hawkins joined the message boards at OutSports.com and made his first post, a 1,500-word anonymous message [2], seeking advice and guidance as an in-the-closet college coach. Later that year, he revealed his until-then hidden homosexuality to his parents and family who disowned him. The discussion continued for almost two years, until, on June 6, 2006, he finally posted under his real name and came out of the closet. The story was picked up by numerous national news agencies. The story again made headlines on April 7, 2007 when the Associated Press published a story detailing the after-effects of the original story.[3]

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