Kevin Maxen, associate strength coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars, came out on Thursday and is believed to be the first openly gay NFL coach, as reported by WFSB.com. Hailing from Southbury, Connecticut, and an alumnus of Pomperaug High School, Maxen’s journey from a star football player to an NFL coach is marked by determination and hard work.
Maxen said, as quoted by Outsports, “I don’t want to feel like I have to think about it anymore. I don’t want to feel like I have to lie about who I am seeing or why I am living with someone else. I want to be vocal in support of people living how they want to live, but I also want to just live and not feel fear about how people will react.”
As a former Pomperaug High School Panthers captain, Maxen’s leadership skills and talent on the field were evident from an early age, graduating with the Class of 2011. Not only was he known for his prowess in football, but he was also recognized as the “most artistic” by his senior class, demonstrating a multifaceted personality beyond the sports arena.
Maxen’s success also extended to the baseball field, where he played a pivotal role in helping the Panthers achieve an impressive 26-2 record during his senior year. His dedication to sports continued as he played college ball at Western Connecticut State University in Danbury, honing his skills and preparing for the path that lay ahead.
According to ESPN, Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan said, “Kevin is a Jacksonville Jaguar through and through, and a key member of our football team and community. “I look forward to seeing Kevin next week at training camp and hope that he comes to work each day during camp and through the season feeling confident, free, and at peace.”
Maxen said on Friday that the support he received from both the NFL and the people around the country was “Out of this world.” as quoted by Outsports.