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LGBT athletes in Division I nearly double since last year

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More signs of progress at collegiate level.

David Pfeifer, left, and Schuyler Bailar are both LGBT and members of the Harvard men’s swimming and diving team.

On Sept. 2, Kansas State lineman Scott Frantz is likely to become the first out LGBT athlete to compete in a Football Bowl Subdivision game. The Wildcats open the season at home against Central Arkansas at 7 p.m. ET.

He will likely beat defensive end My-King Johnson by just a few hours for that distinction. Johnson’s Arizona team kicks off its season against Northern Arizona at 10 p.m. ET that same Saturday. (As of this writing, it’s possible Johnson will redshirt this season.)

In the last six months, Frantz and Johnson have received significant attention for coming out publicly, and they are part of a massive increase in publicly out LGBT Division I athletes.

Entering the 2017-18 school year, OutSports is aware of 41 Division I athletes that are publicly out as LGBT. That’s an 86 percent increase from a year ago, when there were 22 publicly out Division I athletes at the start of the school year.

The Power Five Conferences — ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, SEC — saw a 129 percent increase in the number of publicly out LGBT athletes. That number is up to 16, and there were seven at this time last year.

The 16 publicly out LGBT athletes in the Power Five Conferences are:

—Jace Anderson (Nebraska men’s track and field)
—Nile Clark (Miami men’s tennis)
—Konrad Eiring (Illinois men’s track and field
—Taylor Emery (Virginia Tech women’s basketball)
—Aidan Faminoff (Florida State men’s diving)
—Scott Frantz (Kansas State football)
—Emmonnie Henderson (Louisville women’s track and field)
—Bree Horrocks (Vanderbilt women’s basketball)
—My-King Johnson (Arizona football)
—Dawson LaRance (Minnesota men’s track and field)
—Kennedy Lohman (Texas women’s swimming)
—Brad Neumann (Minnesota men’s track and field)
—EJ Proctor (Duke women’s soccer)
—G Ryan (Michigan women’s swimming)
—Max Showalter (Purdue men’s diving)
—Jack Thorne (Northwestern men’s swimming)

LaRance and Neumann are one of three sets of Division I teammates that are publicly out LGBT athletes. The Harvard men’s swimming and diving team has Schuyler Bailar and David Pfeifer, and the IUPUI women’s track and cross country teams have Alexis Lewandowski and Kelsey Tyler.

Throughout all levels of college sports, Outsports knows of 69 athletes publicly out as LGBT and 24 coaches publicly out as LGBT. The number of non-Division I athletes is the same number as this time last year — 28. The 24 publicly out coaches is up from 16 a year ago.

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

Roundup
Division I

Hannah Griffiths Boston (senior, Portland women’s soccer) scored two second-half goals Friday to lead the Pilots to a 2-1 season-opening home win against Portland State. She scored the game-winning goal in the 84th minute on a penalty kick. Portland lost 1-0 to North Carolina State on Sunday.

Sonia Johnson (senior, DePaul women’s soccer) came off the bench to record a shot on goal and an assist Sunday at Illinois. She assisted DePaul’s first goal of the season, but Illinois beat DePaul 2-1, which drops the Blue Demons to 0-2 this season after Friday’s 1-0 loss to No. 23-ranked Northwestern. Johnson did not play Friday.

Ayrton Kasemets (senior, Oakland men’s swimming) won his heat of the 100-meter breaststroke (1 minute, 5.25 seconds) on Sunday at the World University Games in Taipei, Taiwan. He did not have one of the top 16 times needed to advance to the semifinals. Kasemets is representing Estonia at the World University Games, which continue through Aug. 27. He is also scheduled to compete in the 50- and 200-meter breaststroke and the medley relay, according to Oakland.

Kennedy Lohman (sophomore, women’s swimming) announced July 30 on social media that she is transferring from Arizona to Texas for the 2017-18 school year.

Alex Obendorf (senior, West Virginia men’s diving) said he has decided not to compete during the 2017-18 season, but he is leaving open the possibility of using his final year of eligibility in 2018-19.

EJ Proctor (senior, Duke women’s soccer) started in goal and made two saves for No. 12-ranked Duke in Friday’s season-opening 2-1 loss to No. 6-ranked North Carolina. Proctor did not play in the Blue Devils’ 3-1 win Sunday against Xavier. According to Duke spokesman Hunter Richardson, “That was a coach’s decision. [Duke coach Robbie Church’s] plan entering the weekend was to play one keeper on Friday and the other on Sunday. One of his big things about this team is the depth he’s got at GK.” Last season, Proctor started all 23 games in goal for Duke.

Jessica Smith (assistant coach, Kansas State women’s soccer) saw her team go 0-1-1 to start the 2017 season. Kansas State and Oregon State finished Friday’s game in a scoreless tie, and Oregon beat Kansas State 2-0 on Sunday.

Division III
Nathan Matthews (junior, Wittenburg men’s volleyball) said he plans to return to playing this upcoming season. Last season, he left the Wittenburg team early in the season to become the head coach of the Miamisburg (Ohio) High School boys volleyball team. Matthews said it was his decision to leave Miamisburg, citing that NCAA rules limit his opportunity to play college volleyball to only a couple more years.

Josh Thorne (junior, Mount Union) said he has decided to not run cross country this fall and is trying to “branch out a bit.” He said he may run on the Mount Union track and field team.

Taylor Tvedt (assistant coach, Augsburg women’s lacrosse) announced on Instagram that she accepted a graduate assistant coaching job with the Augsburg College women’s lacrosse team. Augsburg is located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She spent the last four years playing women’s lacrosse at Lehigh.

NAIA
Maria Berrum (junior, Robert Morris women’s soccer) is continuing her soccer career at Robert Morris. She played women’s basketball and soccer at Oakton Community College the past two years. In the 86th minute of Sunday’s season opener, Berrum scored the only goal in Robert Morris’ 1-0 win against College of St. Mary.

Jaxon Cork (freshman, Clarke men’s volleyball), who came out publicly in 2016, signed with the Clarke men’s volleyball team. It was announced by Clarke on July 11.

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.