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Belated Apology for High-Profile Alumna

January 24, 2020

The president of Goshen College offered "profound apologies" on Wednesday to a now-famous alumna who was denied a volunteer coaching position at the institution 11 years ago because of her sexual orientation.

Rebecca Stoltzfus, president of the Christian liberal arts college in Indiana, issued the written apology to Katie Sowers, an assistant coach for the San Francisco 49ers who will become the first woman and first openly gay person to coach in a Super Bowl game next month. (Her team will play the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV on Feb. 2.)

Sowers participated in soccer and track and field and was a captain on the women's basketball team during the time she attended Goshen from 2006 to 2009, according to When her playing eligibility ran out, she asked the head basketball coach if she could volunteer to coach the basketball team, but he rejected her offer, citing her sexuality and the concerns of parents of team members.

"I thought it would be natural to ask if I could be a volunteer assistant coach, and my coach called me in and said they have a lot of parents that have been worried about their daughter being around someone who is gay, and he said, 'We got rid of all of that,'" quoted Sowers as saying in an interview with NBC Sports Bay Area. "That's not something they would want around the team. So, he asked that I would not be around the team anymore."


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