Belmont coach resigns following same-sex relationship disclosure

Friday, December 3, 2010 at 6:20am
Staff reports

Lisa Howe has resigned as Belmont's women’s soccer coach, the university announced in a statement Thursday night.

The news comes hours after the Belmont Vision first reported she was dismissed after telling her players earlier this week that she was going to have a child with her same-sex partner.

Belmont athletics director Mike Strickland released an official statement: “Women’s soccer coach Lisa Howe has informed the university of her intent to conclude her employment with Belmont. This was a decision Coach Howe made. Belmont is so grateful for the work Coach Howe has done and her commitment to women’s soccer and Belmont athletics.”

According to Belmont Vision, Howe said in a statement: “I appreciate Belmont University giving me the opportunity to lead the women’s soccer program for the last six seasons… I want to thank all the student-athletes who worked so hard for and dedicated themselves to me and the program. I am at a point in my life where I am satisfied to move on, and I wish the Belmont women’s soccer team continued success.”

Howe was named the Atlantic Sun Coach of the Year in 2009 and the Bruins’ complied a 52-48-16 record during her six years as head coach. It was announced two weeks ago that the team earned its sixth straight NSCAA College Women’s Team Academic Award, which is awarded to those who have a team GPA of at least 3.0.

Messages to Howe’s work phone late Thursday night were not immediately returned.

17 Comments on this post:

By: raybna on 12/3/10 at 8:01

justlookin, that's the "Christian" attitude that makes us proud to be "Christians"...way to practice that love and tolerance that Jesus practiced.

By: richgoose on 12/3/10 at 8:12

A very noble thing for this woman to do.

By: global_citizen on 12/3/10 at 8:29

This headline doesn't seem to mesh with the story. It seems written to be nothing but sensationalistic. It seems probable that the coach's players as well as the Belmont administration were aware of Ms. Howe's relationship and that relationship had nothing to do with her resignation.

Her resignation seems to come from the decision to have a child and become a mother. It's the same decision that many women make.

If The City Paper wants to maintain journalistic credibility it should take more care in crafting its headlines to actually reflect the content of the story.

By: Cold Floridian on 12/3/10 at 8:49

I totally agree with The City Paper going overboard on sensationalism on the title caption on this news article.
Wouldn't it have been more humane to just say, "Belmont Soccer Coach to Retire"?
Must we bring in the Gay card?
Was it necessary?

Why pull the prejudice card out on the internet?
It's been a difficult road trying to convince the world that Gay and Lesbians are human and pay taxes too....

Come on, get real.

By: govskeptic on 12/3/10 at 9:11

raybna: where does the christian hating come into this story?
I don't see it as that at all. The lady told the players what was
going on and resigned, for whatever reasons and for whatever
plans she has for the future.

By: localboy on 12/3/10 at 9:12

"If The City Paper wants to maintain journalistic credibility it should take more care in crafting its headlines to actually reflect the content of the story." Many of the articles passed that exit a few miles back.

By: raybna on 12/3/10 at 9:27

govskeptic, I responded to the very first post that must have been removed...thank goodness it was as it appeared to be written by some knuckledragger that goes by the name justlookin

By: Kosh III on 12/3/10 at 9:32

The gay issue is relevant. Just take the time to follow the link to the Belmont Vision and read the story and comments.

I guess the SBC heritage is still strong there.

By: SouthernBoy on 12/3/10 at 9:34

raybna: I'm not saying I agree with whatever justlookin said- I never saw the post. But even if Coach was "urged" by the Admin ro resign, people need to understand that Belmont is a Christian school. It doesn't matter if YOU believe homosexuality is ok. It matters that they at the school do not. It is among many of the tenets of Christianity. Jesus did preach love- not so much about tolerance. If a person adheres to the Christian faith, then there cannot be tolerance of sin. It's incongruent with the faith itself. FYI - I am an atheist.

By: angels on 12/3/10 at 9:41

I read justlookin's blog before it was removed. I feel sorry for justlookin. How awful it must be to live with such hate in your heart.

By: Activate on 12/3/10 at 11:22

@SouthernBoy - Actually, Belmont is no longer associated with the Baptist Church. Belmont WAS a christian school but now it is completely secular. Furthermore, Jesus DID teach tolerance. The phrase "turn the other cheek" is a JC original...

By: tyrellmojohnston on 12/3/10 at 11:29

For those who throw the word "tolerance" around... super. Just leave a naive interpretation of Jesus' nature out of it, please. IF you even care to read scripture, Jesus had no tolerance for sin. However, Jesus unconditionally loved every man and woman, regardless of their sinful nature. Figure THAT one out, hehe.

Jesus continually came to the defence of sinners when no one else would and followed it up with "go and sin no more." I imagine this is what most people would choose to forget.

I personally wish Lisa all the best. Her work with the soccer program has been fantastic, and I imagine her decision to leave what could be considered a "hostile" environment for her choices in life should be respected, regardless of your religious convictions.

By: BelmontNeighbor on 12/3/10 at 12:01

@Activate: You are quite wrong about Belmont being a secular institution. It severed ties with the Tennessee Baptist Convention a few years ago -- the breakup deal cost the university millions of dollars. However, Belmont says it's a Christian university, just not specifically Baptist. From the school's website:

"Committed to being a leader among teaching universities, Belmont brings together the best of liberal arts and professional education in a Christian community of learning and service."

Some might say they are trying to have it both ways, appearing secular when it helps attract faculty and other resources, appearing Christian when it helps attract students, donations and other resources.

By: iTiSi on 12/3/10 at 12:09

Just think, if she was a Muslim or this was a Muslim-associated college this would not even be an issue, and probably would not even be an article. Wonder if she would be a candidate for "stoning" in their beliefs?

By: nashtnman on 12/3/10 at 12:27

I am very much appalled at the headline applied to a coach of great value. Your rag of a paper has taken a private issue from the life of an honored coach and made it appear a sordid sex scandal. I am very disappointed in the management staff this paper and the Belmont rag in allowing this slander to be published. It appears this paper exploits any opportunity regardless of facts. The woman resigned to have a baby, period. Do you not check your facts before blindly publishing? She was not asked to resign. This paper as well as the Belmont rag own this woman an apology. This rag is not good enough to dress the bottom of my birds cage. Both papers are luck she has not consulted legal avenues. This type of reporting is part of the problem not part of the solution. Both papers should run an apology for their slander.

By: raybna on 12/3/10 at 1:11

tyrellmojohnston my responses were to a rather inappropriate post, that either the writer or the city paper removed...but to respond to your naive interpretation of Jesus...Let him without sin cast the first stone

By: Loretta Bridge on 12/3/10 at 3:32

I am disappointed with The CIty Paper on how you have reported this story.
Belmont and the does your sexual preference and parental preferences
make you a good or bad employee. Would she be a better coach if she
were a single parent or childless person. Would she be a better coach if she were
married or dating a man? I just don't understand how who you sleep with makes you
a good or bad employee.