clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

At least 50 publicly out LGBT athletes in college sports marks stark increase

New, 4 comments

Our regular LGBT college-sports roundup will continue for the 2016-17 school year. Various athletes' seasons are already underway.

Kendall Covington (10) helps lead the Penn Quakers.
Kendall Covington (10) helps lead the Penn Quakers.
Penn Athletics

The first out gay man played in the NCAA men's basketball tournament, a coach and player reached the Women's College World Series, a rower helped Duke's team reach its first NCAA championships, and a swimmer contributed to his team's second-place finish in NCAA Division II.

LGBT athletes accomplished that and more during the 2015-16 school year.

As the 2016-17 college sports year starts, there are at least 50 college athletes who have publicly announced they identify as LGBT. That marks a 35 percent increase from the 37 publicly out LGBT athletes entering last school year.

Of this year's 50 out athletes, 12 athletes compete on women's teams and 38 participate on men's teams. They come from a variety of levels with 22 Division I, eight Division II, 15 Division III, three NAIA, and two NJCAA athletes.

The 22 Division I athletes include seven from Power Five conferences:

Konrad Eiring (Illinois men's track)

Chandler Frumin (Tennessee women's rowing)

Bree Horrocks (Purdue women's basketball)

Alex Obendorf (West Virginia men's diving)

G Ryan (Michigan women's swimming)

Jaron Thomas (Colorado men's track)

Jack Thorne (Northwestern men's swimming)

Seven represent Ivy League schools:

Schuyler Bailar (Harvard men's swimming)

Sean Collins (Penn men's track)

Kendall Covington (Penn women's volleyball)

Tim Cox (Yale men's track)

Mason Darrow (Princeton football)

Jake Leffew (Yale men's golf)

Wayne Zhang (Yale men's diving)

The remaining eight Division I athletes are:

Connor Griffin (Fordham men's swimming)

Liam Huffman (George Washington men's swimming)

Nick Jessee (St. Louis men's swimming)

Sonia Johnson (DePaul women's soccer)

Ayrton Kasemets (Oakland men's swimming)

Austin Parrish (Eastern Illinois men's swimming)

Cavender Salvadori (William & Mary men's cross country/track)

Taylor Tvedt (Lehigh women's lacrosse)

In addition to the 10 sports represented by those out Division I athletes, the athletes from other college sports levels participate in an additional eight sports.

At the coaching level, Outsports is aware of 16 publicly out LGBT coaches, and 13 of the 16 coach Division I.

With all this talent, it should be an exciting 2016-17 school for team LGBT.

Names in bold are people who have announced publicly they identify as LGBT.

Division I

Kendall Covington (junior, Penn women's volleyball) recorded seven digs and 13 kills while playing in three of her team's first four matches. Penn opened the year Friday in the two-day Houston Baptist Labor Day Classic, and the Quakers went 0-4.

Mason Darrow (senior, Princeton football) saw his team picked to finish fifth in the eight-team Ivy League by the media in a preseason poll. The Tigers open the season Sept. 17.

Alec Donovan (Cal Poly wrestling) announced on Facebook that he transferred to Centenary University, a Division III school in Hackettstown, New Jersey. Donovan plans to continue wrestling.

Sonia Johnson (junior, DePaul women's soccer) played in her first game of the season Sunday during the Blue Demons' 5-0 win against Army West Point. A preseason coaches poll picked DePaul (1-2-2 overall) to finish second in the Big East Conference this season.

Cavender Salvadori (redshirt junior, William & Mary men's cross country) finished 15th in 15 minutes, 38.7 seconds as his team's No. 7 runner during Saturday's season-opening meet at University of Richmond. The W&M men's team scored 20 points to win the five-team competition.

James Finley (head coach, Seattle women's volleyball) guided his team to a 4-2 start to the season, with the most recent loss against No. 5-ranked Washington on Sept. 1.

Nich Lee Parker (head coach, Columbia men's lightweight rowing) named IRA National Lightweight Coach of the Year by US Rowing on July 1.

Jessica Smith (assistant coach, Kansas State women's soccer) saw her team start the year 2-2-2. The first-year program earned its first win by beating Oakland 6-0 on Aug. 26 and got its second win 1-0 on Sunday over Nebraska-Omaha.

Kirk Walker (assistant coach, UCLA softball) received the National Fastpitch Coaches Association West Regional Coaching Staff of the Year award June 15 along with UCLA head coach Kelly Inouye-Perez and fellow assistant Lisa Fernandez. This marked the third consecutive year the Bruins staff received the honor.

Division II

Ian Davies (sophomore, Shippensburg cross country/track) decided not to run cross country this season. He plans to continue running indoor and outdoor track and field.

Division III

Chloe Anderson (junior, UC Santa Cruz women's volleyball) made her only appearance of the year so far in her team's 3-0 win against Mills on Sunday, and Anderson played one set in that match and recorded two kills. The Banana Slugs are 3-1 to start the season.

Greg Arther (Wisconsin-Platteville men's cross country/track) decided to leave the team and school after the 2015-16 school year. He enrolled at Wisconsin-Parkside and plans to train for triathlons.

Jason Hadley (sophomore, Mount Union men's cross country) and Josh Thorne (sophomore, Mount Union men's cross country) opened their season with an 8-kilometer race Friday at the Ric Sayre Invitational in North Canton, Ohio. Their team finished second of five teams. Thorne took 23rd in 27:26.95, and Hadley came in 43rd in 29:03.66.

Sam Johnson (freshman, Whittier men's soccer) played in both games this season as Whittier started 1-1, and Johnson attempted a shot in Sunday's game, a 3-0 Whittier win over George Fox.

Michael Martin (sophomore, Wilson men's soccer) came off the bench and made two saves and allowed two goals in 25 minutes of action during his team's season-opening 8-0 loss at Salisbury on Sept. 1.

Conner Mertens (Willamette football) announced on Facebook that he underwent knee surgery Aug. 19, and he said the injury will end his career as a college athlete.

Taylor Reifert (sophomore, Lawrence men's soccer) came off the bench in the 20th minute and played the remainder of the game. He attempted two shots, but Lawrence lost its season opener 3-0 at Concordia (Wis.) on Sept. 1.

NAIA

David Gilbert (senior, Lewis-Clark men's cross country) returned to competitive running Sept. 1 after missing both indoor and outdoor track and field last year due to a left ankle injury. He opened cross country season by finishing 30th in 21:29.8 during the 6-kilometer race at the Clash of the Inland Northwest Invitational in Moscow, Idaho.

NJCAA

Macoy McLaughlin (North Idaho men's soccer) completed his NJCAA eligibility last year and decided to not continue playing soccer at another level. He chose to enroll in the North Idaho pediatric oncology program to become a nurse.

Upcoming televised competitions involving LGBT college athletes and coaches. (All times are Eastern.)

Friday, Sept. 16

Jessica Smith, Kansas State women's soccer vs. Northern Iowa; Manhattan, Kan., 8 p.m. (Fox College Sports Atlantic)

Erik Hall can be reached via email at hallerik7@gmail.com or on Twitter @HallErik or on Facebook. If you are an out LGBT athlete or coach and want your accomplishments recognized, please email Erik.