‘Mo MO. LaCrosse Coach Fired

Kyle Hawkins made headlines when he came out earlier this year. With his announcement, Hawkins became one of the first openly gay coaches in the United States. Though some of his team objected to Hawkins’ sexuality – or, rather, his decision to make it public – the University seemed to support the 32-year old homo-jocko. They at least supported him enough to renew his contract. But that was then and this is now and now Hawkins is out of a job.

Hawkins found out about his termination back in May, when school administrators listed at least eight reasons why they decided not to invite him back. MSNBC reports:

Hawkins said he learned of the decision May 4 in a meeting with team leaders, an assistant coach, faculty advisers and a university official. Hawkins said the group offered eight reasons not to renew his annual contract, which expires May 31.

Among the concerns: dissatisfaction with his practice regimen and the coach’s negative reputation outside the school.

“Those are laughable,” Hawkins said. “A week and a half before the meeting, they had sat in front of the ESPN cameras and said what a great coach I was.”

His young charges agree that Hawkins performed his duties well, but still aren’t convinced he’s the right man for the job.

Team president Andy Mackley said:

We, as a team, did not feel coach Hawkins was the best man for the job. Sport is all we care about, not the sexuality of our coach, players and those associated with our team. His personal life had zero to do with our team.

Funny, because the team had a record number of freshman recruits last year, according to Outsports.

The team’s faculty advisor, Karen Mitchell, suggested that perhaps Hawkins took his job a little too seriously:

He was just no longer compatible with a club sport. He’s made lacrosse his life. These guys aren’t going to be professional lacrosse players. Lacrosse is secondary to most of them, And he’s not happy with that.

Well if they’re not going to be professional, why even try to be good at all. In fact, why don’t we extend Mitchell’s logic and disband the entire team?

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  • Paul Raposo

    So in other words, a bunch of phobes don’t like knowing a gay person.

  • Kelly

    Which university?

  • Kelly

    Missouri perhaps (Mo mo)?

  • David

    I don’t want to play devil’s advocate, but I guess I will. Don’t you think a university has the right to deem who they want as their representative on the field? Perhaps the team wanted to be known for their athletic abilities and not that they were a gay coach’s team.

    I went to the University of Missouri. I was there when this coach was employed by the University. By no means was he a beacon of purity. I am not saying that hetero coaches are pristine by any means. However, it was pretty well known (by his doing) in the gay community at the University that he was gay, active and promiscuous (when he was in the closet). I am sure this was a PR person’s nightmare…considering the lacrosse team at the University is only a club sport, not even Division 1.

    I am all for being gay, out and proud. But if coach’s sexual proclivity overshadows the actual sport one is coaching…well, that’s another story.

    That’s my two cents.

  • Dad

    That’s absurd, of course. If they want to be known for their athletic abilities, why fire a coach with an absolutely outstanding record? This was the first season they EVER had a losing record under Hawkins, he’s built the program into a tremendous success. Sorry, but that’s not going to fly, if it’s about anything but his being gay, then he’s staying because he’s a winner.
    As for his personal life, homophobia and bigotry drive a LOT of closeted gays into promiscuity, and that’s changed considerably since he came out. If coach’s private sexual life is now part of how we consider their job performance, please list for us all the current sexual partners of all coaches at, let’s say, North Carolina State. With how many people has the football coach at Rutgers slept in the last year? The basketball coach at Arizona State? The tiddly-winks coach at LSU? WHO THE DEVIL CARES?
    This stinks to high heaven and is an incredible disgrace to the University of Missouri. I’ve never been more embarassed to be a Tiger.

  • nystudman

    As a former ‘Mo-Columbia, I disagree with David. So he was promiscuous in his private life? What a frigging double standard! Do you know how many coaches are promiscuous, drink, beat their wives, etc. etc. — and no one does anything because they win games?

    What was the “PR nightmare” was a tiny handful of bigoted players giving the old “locker room panic” thing and quitting the team that did him in.

    Missouri deserves all of the contempt heaped on it. It’s a crappy school, anyway (except for my department, of course).

  • Paul Raposo

    David, you’re welcome to keep your two cents. You weren’t playing Devil’s advocate, you were lambasting that man because of your obviuous bias against him. What happened is four Christian, anti-gay students and their parents, one of whom has a great deal of clout in lacrosse as a sport and as a fund raiser, used their position to exercise their anti-gay beleifs and had this man fired.

    Using your arguments, all the players on that team who are “playas” in their private lives should be kicked off the team because their after hours activites sully the teams image.

    The only thing which has overshadowed that school’s sport is the homophobia of four students, their parents and the school administration; and yours too, David.

  • Allen

    I’ve read articles about him and what not and I feel for him about losing his family and what not after coming out, however, (this is from interviews) he seems like a prick of a coach and sometimes uses his sexuality as a crutch.

    That’s how I’m seeing it.

  • alan brickman

    david sounds like he hates himself more…

  • David

    I can understand where most of you are coming from. Truly, I do. What I was trying to say is, yes, it is terrible this coach who had a winning record was fired from the University. Do we *really* know why? No. All we have is the official school statement. Sure, and I am first to admit that it smells of homophobia. However, when can a gay person be fired without someone crying homophobia? In this case, the coach was told, last year, that he would need to have a better winning record, he didn’t. It probably was the perfect excuse for the University and the team to get rid of him even though his overall record is outstanding. That being said, the coach said he has received offers from other schools. He should take them up on their offers. Hopefully he will be able to use this terrible incident for his benefit, and I sincerely hope he does.

    What I take offense to is when gay people (myself included) use their homosexuality as an excuse for roadblocks they encounter. I am not trying to discount others’ hardships with this issue…hell, I have had my fair share, and I know others have faced struggles that I can not even begin to imagine. But sometimes it is easier (at least for me) to blame others for misfortunes instead of looking inwardly and realizing that there could be a possibility that we failed because we just didn’t cut it. I know I have blamed others for my hardships, cried homophobia…and I know some of those claims were valid. However, the vast majority of my failures in life came from either me not being qualified, not prepared or it was simply bad timing. For some it is easier to blame others for our setbacks, but in the end we only end up hurting ourselves because we end up making excuses for everything. I would rather live a life that was full of reasons rather than one full of excuses.

    I have tried to live my life by this simple creed: “attempt to do anything to my best ability. If I fail, I will take what I have learned and move on and make it my point not to make the same mistake twice.” As a minority within a minority I have worked hard to succeed. I have worked hard to be seen as successful. The reason why I do this is because I don’t want anyone to say that I am not qualified; I don’t want anyone to say I received a promotion because I was merely filling a quota. Is it fair, I am not sure, but I can sleep well at night knowing that no one can tell me I didn’t do everything in my power to excel in my endeavours.

    Honestly, I wish the coach the best of luck in whatever the future holds from him. Our toughest critics are ourselves, if we can make ourselves happy that is all that matters.

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