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.
“After my time at Tennessee and Mount St. Mary's I felt I was as prepared as I would be,” Christiansen told Outsports. “The job opened up and it was in a location and at a mid-major size I wanted. And I wanted to be closer to home to home as well. I am a big family guy.”
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.
“They were incredibly supportive of everything.”
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.”
UMBC is an NCAA Division 1 school that competes in the America East Conference. They are currently 1-3 on the season.