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Gay Missouri college volleyball coach named conference coach of the year

Coleman Lee and his husband Garrett Case have had a successful first season coaching together in Missouri.

Coleman Lee, left, with husband and fellow coach Garrett Case,

It has been a banner first season for Coleman Lee, head women’s volleyball coach at Central Methodist University in Missouri, and it got better Tuesday when he was named his conference’s coach of the year.

Lee, who is openly gay and coaches Central Methodist with husband Garrett Case, won the award from the Heart of America Conference, which competes in Divison 1 NAIA.

Head coach Coleman Lee of Central Methodist was recognized as the Heart Coach of the Year after a milestone season with the Eagles in his inaugural rein of the program. He led Central to an overall record of 30-3, secured the program’s second straight trip to the final site, and helped the program reach a record-high No. 12 in the national rankings.

In addition to his honor, Lee saw four of his players selected first-team all-conference, two to the second team and one to the third team. Krystal Brauner of Central Methodist was also selected co-freshman of the year.

Lee and Case came out publicly as a married coaching couple in October, excited about the chance to work together. Lee celebrated Tuesday’s news on Facebook:

Well ... to say I was blessed in my first season is a huge understatement. God really knew what he was doing sending Garrett and myself to this University. First year is in the books with a 30-3 regular season record, number 12 ranking in the NAIA top 25 poll, 7 All Conference awards, HAAC Tournament Championship, bid to the National Tournament, and Heart of America Conference Head Coach of the Year. Post season preparation starts today, but you can bet I’m going to take a moment to reflect on my team’s success. An individual’s accomplishments are only achievable by the support system who surrounds them!!! #eagleproud #eaglesflyhigh #lovemygirls #notdoneyet

Next step for Lee, Case and Central Methodist are the national playoffs. And as Lee said after his team won the conference championship, “I’m so glad I was able to experience this with my best friend and husband!!!”