Allison Guth is the new head coach of the Loyola women’s basketball team, an out coach getting an opportunity to take her old team into the Atlantic 10 Conference for the first time.
As the head coach at Yale through this past season, Guth compiled a record over seven seasons of .600, the best of any of the program’s head coaches since the 1970s. She led the team to the 2018 Women’s Basketball Invitational championship, the program’s only post-season championship in its 50-year history.
Guth faces new challenges leading a Loyola program that’s also never made it to the NCAA Tournament. They are also moving from the Missouri Valley Conference to the higher-profile Atlantic 10 Conference next season.
Guth is married to her wife, Jessie, and the women are parents to their two sons, Ray and Garvey. She’ll be bringing her family back to Loyola after serving there as an assistant coach from 2005 to 2007.
“This is the place I was blessed with my first collegiate opportunity and the place in which I fell in love with coaching,” Guth said in a statement. “To say that this is surreal in the moment, is an understatement.”
While there are many out women coaching NCAA Division I women’s basketball, many are also not out. The number of women who feel comfortable being publicly out is growing, however. A few years ago there was only one publicly out coach in Division I; Now there are several, with Guth joining Denver’s Doshia Woods, Minnesota’s Shimmy Gray-Miller and others.
For years there was a lot of fear around being out as a coach in women’s basketball, with the practice of “negative recruiting” targeting lesbian and gay coaches by rivals in recruiting practices.
With the increase in visibility of LGBTQ athletes in women’s professional soccer and basketball, and the shifting attitudes in society as a whole, more women are feeling comfortable being out.
Guth serves as an inspiration to everyone that you can be out and proud and get new job opportunities. Yes, people will hire you.