Scroll To Top
World

Oregon's Other Gay Coach

Oregon's Other Gay Coach

Walker-kirkx390
Nbroverman

There is no doubt a dearth of out athletes and coaches, but Oregon has two openly gay sports professionals -- Portland State University women's head basketball coach Sherri Murrell and Oregon State university softball coach Kirk Walker (pictured).

In a profile in The Oregonian, the 46-year-old Walker, out to his team since 2005, is credited with inadvertently helping Murrell come out of the closet. Murrell, 43, didn't talk about her partner until she started her job with PSU in 2007 but felt confident to make the leap after seeing a local article about Walker and his family. The same thing happened when Rick Welts, the gay president of the NBA's Phoenix Suns, saw a more recent newspaper piece about the softball coach.

Walker says there is often more internal fear of coming out on the part of gay coaches than there is actual homophobia.

"The older coaches are sometimes really resistant: 'Why do you need to do this? We're fine. We're doing fine,'" he says.

Nbroverman
30 Years of Out100Out / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff & Wayne Brady

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories

Neal Broverman

Neal Broverman is the Editorial Director, Print of Pride Media, publishers of The Advocate, Out, Out Traveler, and Plus, spending more than 20 years in journalism. He indulges his interest in transportation and urban planning with regular contributions to Los Angeles magazine, and his work has also appeared in the Los Angeles Times and USA Today. He lives in the City of Angels with his husband, children, and their chiweenie.
Neal Broverman is the Editorial Director, Print of Pride Media, publishers of The Advocate, Out, Out Traveler, and Plus, spending more than 20 years in journalism. He indulges his interest in transportation and urban planning with regular contributions to Los Angeles magazine, and his work has also appeared in the Los Angeles Times and USA Today. He lives in the City of Angels with his husband, children, and their chiweenie.