The average career for an NFL player is 3.3 years. In Major League Baseball, it’s 5.6 years, while the NBA and NHL average is 4.5 years each. Playing after age 30 is less and less unlikely with each new birthday.

In contrast, coaches in these sports can work well into their 50s, 60s, sometimes 70s and even 80s. Like workers in other fields, they can move from job to job and work as long as someone will employ them.

The actuarial difference between players and coaches is a big reason why the coming out of Jacksonville Jaguars associate Kevin Maxen is so noteworthy. Unlike the vast majority of players, who are out of their league before they’re old enough to run for president, Maxen can serve as an inspiration and role model for others considering a career in coaching. If an out man — and a Black Jew — can thrive in sports, then that opens the doors for others.

“As a Black Jew who has dated both men and women, who has been a strength coach at the highest level of professional football, I’ve learned that how I look, what I believe in, and especially who I am physically or emotionally attracted to should not impact the way I or other people view my worth,” Maxen told Outsports in publicly announcing he is out as an LGBTQ man.

As the first out male coach in a major American men’s pro league, Maxen has broken barriers, and that knowledge is one reason he decided to come out now, having corresponded with Cyd Zeigler of Outsports for the past 18 months.

“It wasn’t until recently — and with the immense love and support of my family, my friends, colleagues and peers, and the courage and sacrifice from my partner — that I realized I have the right and responsibility to love and be loved, and that maybe sharing this will hopefully give someone else the strength to accept their own life and take control of their own story,” Maxen said.

Out coaches — along with administrators, executives and media members — can have an impact on gay inclusion in sports for years. Kirk Walker is a prime example.

Walker, now associate head softball coach at UCLA, has been an out gay coach for almost 20 years and a major advocate for LGBTQ people in sports. In that time he’s come to know dozens and dozens of other coaches, some out and some struggling with reconciling their sport and their sexuality, many of whom simply want words of reassurance from someone who gets it. As a coach with longevity, Walker can relate to a wide range of people at different life stages.

It can be the same for Maxen. A former college football player, he has already had a varied resume since starting as a strength coach intern in 2014, with stops at Central Connecticut State University, Army, the University of Iowa, Baylor, Vanderbilt and now the Jaguars.

Now that he is out, Maxen can be a public face for LGBTQ people in sports in a career that can potentially be measured in decades and not just single-digit years. This staying power is what makes his coming out ultimately so significant.