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He’s 19, gay and now coaches 2 high school volleyball teams

Nathan Matthews is a busy college student.

Nathan Matthews
Robb Shirey Photography

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.

“Getting the opportunity to build a program is truly a dream come true and I can't wait to get started,” he wrote on Facebook. “With that being said, this decision brings my official playing career to an end. Over the past six years this sport has given more to me than I can put into words. It has brought me some of my closest friends, most influential mentors, and fondest memories. It brought me to a university that I love and that has shaped me considerably in such a short period of time.”

Matthews had a stellar high school volleyball career as he detailed in his coming out story last spring. He is still very involved in the sport but it will now be as a coach, with players not much younger than he is. He shouldn’t have any trouble relating. The Miamisburg job is unpaid but could turn into a paid job and gives Matthews invaluable experience.

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.”