Kyle Hawkins coached the Unversity of Missouri men's lacrosse team for nine seasons, but only this past season was it known that he is gay. And now — surprise! — he's been fired.
Team leaders said Kyle Hawkins was dismissed because of his job performance, not his sexual orientation. Hawkins recently completed his first season as head coach after publicly disclosing his homosexuality. The team finished with a 6-9 record, Hawkins' first losing season at the school. "We, as a team, did not feel coach Hawkins was the best man for the job," team president Andy Mackley said. "Sport is all we care about, not the sexuality of our coach, players and those associated with our team."
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."
Hawkins famously came out in a post on the Outsports message board in June of last year. It was some of his players, ironically, who wanted him removed.
Four of the players, all of them seniors this coming year, voiced concern to the administration and asked that Hawkins be removed as head coach of their team. One of the players' parents is the president of the Mizzou lacrosse parent booster club ... who wrote a letter to the university administration asking that Hawkins be removed as head lacrosse coach.
Missouri won the Big XII division of the Great Rivers Lacrosse Conference in 2006, and Hawkins had a 127-58 career record at the school. At Missouri lacrosse is a club sport, making it about as high profile as the Worlds of Warcraft Club, and just slightly more athletic. So one would think that if the school had a successful coach, it would do everything in its power to hold on to him. One would think.
Maybe there's an opening on Tony Dungy's staff.