Wyatt Warnick had just been hired by Sacred Heart University when he came out publicly as gay on social media.
Warnick was coming off of a stint as the head coach at Division III Southern Virginia University when the opportunity to move to DI came along. He took the job, coaching throwing events, for the Pioneers.
Soon after, he posted this on Instagram:
As Warnick wrote, he had already attended Air Force and BYU. While at Air Force the military had its anti-LGBTQ “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy; and BYU famously has explicit policies barring gay students.
When he thought about a job at Sacred Heart, he immediately dug into some research and found that, while Catholic, Sacred Heart would be a safe place to be LGBTQ and out.
“I came out to the head coach in my first interview,” Warnick said. “He said, ‘That’s great. We celebrate diversity at Sacred heart.’”
Since his post on Instagram, as well as an article in the St. Lake Tribune, Warnick has received powerful support from people across sports.
“I’ve had a great response from those in the athletic world,” Warnick told Outsports. “Coaches I’ve worked with in the past. People I’ve played recreational volleyball with. Javelin throwers I competed against in college. I’ve had supportive messages coming from everywhere.”
That support has included people from the very schools that told him he couldn’t be gay there.
“My old teammates, some of my best friends from the BYU women’s volleyball team, multiple football players, many of them have expressed that they are happy I finally feel free to be myself and are overwhelmingly supportive.”