An openly gay baseball and volleyball coach at a Catholic school in South Dakota has been retained despite the concerns he harbored that coming out would jeopardize his position.
As reported by the Associated Press, 25-year-old Nate Alfson is believed to be the first openly gay prep coach in South Dakota sports history. The head volleyball and baseball coach at St. Mary’s High in Dell Rapids, S.D., announced that he was gay on the popular homosexual sports website Out Sports in a piece in which he also voiced concerns about his job safety because of his suddenly revealed sexual orientation.
It turns out that he had nothing to worry about, as he made clear in an email to Out Sports and on his personal Facebook page on Tuesday.
“The meeting with the school went great,” Alfson said in his email to the website. “We talked about being on the same page as each other and that they were willing to walk through this with me and support me.”
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Sioux Falls went further, saying that all individuals should be treated with respect regardless of their sexual orientation and confirming that sexual orientation alone should not disqualify anyone from serving the church.
That’s a refreshing break from traditional Catholic doctrine, and perhaps a template for modern religious schools. Alfson will be judged on his teams’ results and his students behavior. No coach could ask for anything more.