Bryant assistant coach Chris Burns has come out as gay in a first-person column he wrote for the website Outsports.com.
Burns is now the first openly gay Division I men’s basketball coach. In April of 2014, then-UMass guard Derrick Gordon became the first openly gay Division I men’s basketball player.
“I decided last year to attend the Nike LGBT Sports Summit,” Burns wrote. “I met so many people there – gay people in sports – who made me finally realize that this day would come.”
“The Supreme Court decision in June legalizing same-sex marriage was probably the time when I knew without a doubt that I was going to do this. When I saw how powerful it was for people, and when I had the time to sit and think about how this affects me and has shaped my own journey in life, it became a no-brainer.”
Burns played for Bryant from 2003-07, back when it was still a Division II program. He’s been an assistant for the Bulldogs since 2013.
Bryant will open the season against the reigning national champions, Duke.