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Stanford Women's basketball alum Jennifer Azzi comes out

Stanford Women's basketball alum and current USF head coach Jennifer Azzi is the only publicly out LGBT head women's basketball coach in Division I.

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

On Thursday night Stanford women's basketball alum and current USF head women's basketball coach Jennifer Azzi came out as gay at an event for openly gay Golden State Warriors CEO Rick Welts.


"I, too, lived a long time not being 100 percent honest," Azzi said at the ceremony, according to the San Jose Mercury-News. "Kind of the don't-ask-don't-tell kinda of thing. And it's so stupid. I don't know why we do that, but we do that. I'm a college coach. Is it going to hurt me with recruiting? What are people going to think? And you are constantly worrying about those things.

"What I realized in watching Rick in his path and his journey is that there is nothing more powerful than living the truth. And the best thing I can do for my team is be authentic and true to myself.""

Stanford alum Cyd Zeigler, the site manager for OutSports also writes in his piece the powerful impact Azzi's coming out has on others:

"We talk about it all the time, the power of one person being out in sports, and that leading to another person coming out, who leads to another.... In introducing openly gay Golden State Warriors CEO Rick Welts at an event last night, Univ. of San Francisco head women's basketball coach Jennifer Azzi took the opportunity to be the next domino, and an historic one at that."

Azzi played point guard for the Cardinal from 1987 to 1990 during which time Stanford won two conference championships and a national championship in 1990. Azzi was also two-time All-American, a Naismith Award winner, two-time conference player of the year, and a Final Four MVP. Azzi is a gold-medal winner, a first round WNBA draft pick, and a member of the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame.

Perhaps most pertinent, Azzi graduated from Stanford University with a degree in economics. Azzi has not only been successful as a player either. In 2010 she became the University of San Francisco women's head basketball coach. In 2016 she lead USF to a conference championship and a spot in the NCAA tournament but was eliminated by her former coach and team the Stanford Cardinal with coach Tara VanDerveer.