The College of New Jersey has hired a new diving coach who happens to be a happily married gay man.
Eric Blevins has been in and around diving for most of his adult life, having coached divers at Rider University and the University of Evansville.
Blevins told Outsports he did not come out until after college. He was a very successful diver at Division III Grinell College in Iowa, where he was a two-time All American. He is in the school’s Athletics Hall of Fame. Blevins met his husband about six years ago and married in 2017.
“He has great technical knowledge that he translates well to all levels of divers, and his experience with recruiting from across the country will bring in the right student-athlete for TCNJ,” head women’s swimming & diving coach Jennifer Harnett said in a statement through the school’s athletics department.
It’s noteworthy that the school would have no issue hiring a gay coach with the express purpose of utilizing his ability to bring athletes to the school. We’ve heard for years that a gay coach’s sexual orientation could be used against him in recruiting. TCNJ obviously doesn’t think that’s a problem.
Blevins told Outsports that as a high school athlete he had been recruited by colleges for football and wrestling and only began diving while he was in college. Since then he’s made a career out of it, racking up silver medals in two world championships, in 2015 and 2017.
“Getting this position I get to coach the TCNJ kids and get to run the diving club year round and give all these kids, and others who are wanting to learn to dive, a better opportunity,” Blevins said. “The TCNJ facility is amazing, the entire staff at TCNJ is so much fun to work for and with. Also, TCNJ is a very powerful DIII athletic school, so it’s exciting to be a part of that as well.
Huge congratulations to Blevins on the new hire and the continuation of a fantastic career both in and out of the water.
You can find Eric Blevins on Facebook.