Sherri Murrell, Head Women’s Basketball Coach at Portland State University, is poised to join Equity Foundation’s Board of Directors. Coach Murrell has been involved with basketball all her life, first as a player and now a coach for over two decades. In 2009, Coach Murrell was thrown into the public spotlight when a picture of her, her partner and their twins appeared on the PSU athletics website. Soon thereafter, she was speaking out about what it meant to be the only out women’s basketball coach in the US.
Coach Murrell was featured in the 2009 documentary Training Rules, in which she was an outspoken critic of the “no lesbians” rule that can be prevalent in women’s basketball programs. The sports world remains one in which coaches and players live in fear of coming out, and Coach Murrell is one of the few who is willing to make a difference by being out and unabashed about it.
Recently, she was named the Big Sky Conference Coach of the Year for the 2010-2011 season. Coach Murrell now sits in advisory boards, replies to support emails she receives from closeted coaches and players all over the country, and has spoken at the Nike campus – each time as an advocate against the culture of silence that keeps coaches and players closeted.