College basketball is on the mind, as the Division I NCAA basketball tournaments — March Madness — take hold on television. Brackets will be spoiled, brackets will be won. And America is here for all of it.
We have seen transgender, gay, lesbian and bisexual players and coaches across genders and NCAA divisions.
While dozens or hundreds of other players and coaches have been out to family, friends and members of their team, these are some of some of the people we know of who have been publicly out in the media or clearly out on social media. If you know of more, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Izzy Allen, Palm Beach State
Allen came out while playing high school basketball in Colorado,
Kye Allums, George Washington
Allums was the first publicly out trans athlete in NCAA D1 basketball, playing for the women’s team at George Washington.
Nicholle Aston, Cornell
Aston came out to her Big Red teammates freshman year before deciding to do a more public story years later in 2016.
Maria Berrum, Oakton Community
Berrum came out publicly in a Chicago Tribune article in 2016, saying her teammates and coaches in both high school and college were supportive.
Emily Easom, Sacramento State
Easom came out publicly in a newspaper article after transferring from Portland State. She now coaches high school basketball.
Taylor Emery, Gulf Coast State College and Virginia Tech
Emery was publicly out while winning a national junior college title with Gulf Coast State College before moving on to Virginia Tech.
Jess Farmer, Elon
Farmer came out while dating a fellow Elon athlete on the school’s softball team.
Hunter Fromang, Randolph-Macon
The center was part of a very successful men’s basketball team at Randolph-Macon.
Derrick Gordon, Massachusetts and Seton Hall
Gordon was the first NCAA Division I men’s basketball player to come out publicly in 2014 while at UMass. He then also played for Seton Hall. No player in D1 men’s basketball has come out publicly since.
Jaide Hinds-Clarke, Richmond
Hinds-Clarke started an on-campus organization for Black LGBT students like her.
Bree Horrocks, Purdue
Horrocks played for the Boilermakers in the NCAA Tournament while a center on the Purdue women’s basketball team.
Navi Huskey, Long Beach City
Huskey was a successful and award-winning player for Long Beach City College in Southern California and a trailblazer for trans women in women’s sports.
Gabrielle Ludwig, Mission
Ludwig came out publicly as a trans community college basketball player in 2012, in addition to being one of the tallest and oldest women’s basketball players in the country at 6-foot-8 and age 50.
Joe Morrell, St. John Fisher
Morrell came out publicly in 2022 while a junior at St. John Fisher College in New York. His team went to the NCAA tournament that year.
Max Nagle, Hollins
The transgender basketball player came out as trans to his Hollins University women’s basketball team and played with the Virginia-based college team after coming out.
Jesse Taylor, Dakota Wesleyan
Taylor came out in 2015 on the NAIA Dakota Wesleyan basketball team after being a multi-sport athlete in high school.
Courtney Thrun, Brandeis
Thrun found a culture where she could thrive as an LGBTQ athlete, under coach Carol Simon
Kate Achter, Detroit—Mercy
Achter has had coaching stings at Loyola Chicago and Xavier. She is married to her wife, Tina, and the duo has two kids.
Karen Aston, Texas — San Antonio
Aston was hired as the UTSA women’s basketball head coach in 2021. She and her wife, Claire, have a daughter together.
Jennifer Azzi, San Francisco
While still the head coach at the University of San Francisco, Azzi came out publicly before stepping down from her coaching position months later.
Melanie Balcomb, Purdue and Ohio Dominican
Balcomb came out publicly while working for Dawn Staley at South Carolina, before going on to coach at Purdue and becoming the head coach at Division II Ohio Dominican University.
Courtney Banghart, North Carolina
Banghart is married to lacrosse coach Michele DeJuliis. She has brought UNC to this year’s NCAA Tournament as a No. 6 seed.
Chelsea Barker Walsh, UMBC
Barker Walsh played for the Retrievers from 2007-2011, joining the coaching staff in 2015. She and her wife, Kiera, live in Baltimore.
Carla Berube, Princeton
Berube is married to her wife and they have three kids together. The Tigers are a No. 10 seed in this year’s NCAA Tournament.
Jessie Biggs, Indiana Tech
Biggs is the head coach of this NAIA school and married to her assistant coach, Kylene, with whom she has two daughters.
Kylene Biggs, Indiana Tech
Biggs is an assistant coach of this NAIA school and married to her head coach, Jessie, with whom she has two daughters.
Tempie Brown, Stanford
While on the coaching staff for Stanford legend Tara VanDerveer, Brown shared her love for her wife, Melissa. She is now a high school athletic director in Ohio.
Becky Burke, Buffalo
Burke, the head coach of the University of Buffalo women’s basketball team, was not shy about sharing her proposal to her girlfriend in 2022.
Chris Burns, Bryant
In 2015, Bryant College assistant coach Chris Burns became the first publicly out Division I men’s basketball coach.
Amanda Butler, Clemson
Butler is married to her wife, Janna, and the couple has two sons. She has taken three schools to the WNIT and two have advance to the NCAA Tournament.
Bridgett Casey, Bridgewater State
Casey has lead the Bridgewater State women’s basketball team for decades. She and her wife, Meghan, have four sons.
Billi Chambers, Iona
Chambers led the Gaels to their only NCAA D1 Tournament appearance, in 2016. She is married to her wife, Melba, according to the Iona website.
Kevin DeMille, George Washington and Vanderbilt
DeMille has been out as an assistant coach for both the Colonial and Commodore women’s basketball teams.
Dalila Eshe, Yale
When Eshe was announced as the Bulldogs’ new women’s head basketball coach in 2022, her wife, Way, was there with their two daughters.
Heather Ezell, Wyoming
In her first season as the Cowgirl head coach, the team earned a WNIT berth and a first-round win.
Kristen Gillespie, Illinois State
As head coach, Gillespie lead the Redbirds to the 2023 NIT, where they lost to Missouri. She and her wife, Brittany, were married in 2017.
Allison Guth, Loyola
Guth and her wife, Jessie, have two kids. She previously coached women’s basketball at Yale.
Lauren Hall-Gregory, New York
The NYU head women’s basketball coach first took her position in 2012. She and her wife, Colleen, have three children.
Blair Hardiek, San Francisco
She was assistant to her wife, Jennifer Azzi. She is now an executive for the Las Vegas Aces.
Katie Hempen, Eastern Michigan
The assistant women’s basketball coach played college ball for Arizona State.
Gabby Holko, Susquehanna
Holko has lead the Susquehanna women’s basketball team since 2019. She is married to her wife, Cailin.
Layne Ingram, Lansing Community
Ingram is the rare out trans person in college basketball, coaching the women’s basketball team at Lansing Community College in Michigan.
Jason Jaramillo, Sarah Lawrence and Clark
The longtime leader in the National Gay Basketball Association has also been a women’s basketball assistant coach for Sarah Lawrence College in New York. He is currently an assistant for Clark University.
Kara Kelly, Stonehill
Kelly has been part of two NCAA Tournament bids for Stonehill as an assistant coach. Her wife, Liz, played for the Stonehill women’s basketball team.
Belle Koclanes, Dartmouth and Drexel
Koclanes talked about her wife while she was an assistant coach with Dartmouth. Her Drexel profile has no mention of that.
Monique LeBlanc, Brown
LeBlanc was previously head coach at Merrimack and assistant coach at Northern Arizona. In 2022-23 she coached the team to its best record in five seasons.
Matt Lynch, Chowhan and USC-Salkehatchie
Lynch was out while an assistant coach at the D2 Chowhan University in North Carolina. He is now the head men’s basketball coach at the junior college University of South Carolina Salkehatchie.
Kelly McNiff, Wisconsin-Platteville
McNiff has been the head coach of the women’s basketball team at the University of Wisconsin Platteville since 2019.
Katie Meier, Miami
Meier has coached the Hurricanes to 10 NCAA tournament appearances. She has posted many times on social media about her wife and their relationship.
Ryenn Micaletti, Longwood
Micaletti played college ball for Seton Hall. She has been a recruiting coordinator and assistant coach for Longwood since 2020.
Ryan Mizner, Central Michigan
Mizner came out while an assistant coach for the Central Michigan men’s basketball team, though he has since left the college coaching profession.
Colleen Mullen, Albany
Mullen lead Albany to a WNIT berth in 2023. She and her wife, Lauren, have three kids. She previously coached at Army.
Sherri Murrell, Portland State
The first publicly out head coach in all of Division I basketball, Murrell coached Portland State women’s basketball from 2007 to 2015.
Deneen Parker, Houston
Parker has been an assistant coach at Houston for several years. She is married to her wife, Danielle.
Cassie Seth, West Liberty
Seth has been the associate head women’s basketball coach of this Ohio-based DII school for several years.
Candice Signor-Brown, Vassar and Swarthmore
Signor-Brown has been publicly out coaching women’s basketball for Vassar and Swarthmore.
Carol Simon, Brandeis
As head coach of the Division III Brandeis women’s basketball team, Simon has inspired at least one out player to feel she belongs.
Melissa Smeltzer-Kraft, Shenandoah
Smeltzer-Kraft has been the head coach of the DIII Shenandoah since 2014. That was the same year she married her wife, Ashley, who is the school’s head field hockey coach.
Jackie Smith, Connecticut College
Smith has been the head coach for the DIII Connecticut College since 2018. She played college basketball for Hartford.
Julia Tucker, Lynn
Tucker and her wife, Adrienne, have a son. She has been the head coach of Lynn’s women’s basketball team in Florida since 2015.
Lindsay Werntz, Denver
An assistant coach for the Denver Pioneers women’s basketball team, married to head coach Doshia Woods.
Lora Westling, Washburn
Westling, who played college ball for Washburn, was in her first season as the team’s head coach. Westling and her wife, Amy, have a daughter together.
C White, Bentley
White has been on the coaching staff for the Bentley women’s basketball team for over 20 years, and as the team’s head coach since 2020. She and her wife, Lindsay, have twins.
Maria Williamson, Chicago
Williamson lives in Chicago with her wife, Erica. In 2023 she took her team to the third round of the NCAA Division III tournament.
Doshia Woods, Denver
Head coach for the University of Denver women’s basketball team, Woods is married to her assistant coach Lindsay Werntz.