Former Belmont Soccer Coach Praises University President - | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Former Belmont Soccer Coach Praises University President

Lisa Howe Lisa Howe

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The former Belmont University women's soccer coach has praised the school president for saying the university welcomes everybody.

Lisa Howe, who is gay, said in a statement Thursday she hopes the comments Wednesday by Dr. Bob Fisher sets an example for schools across the country.

"I am very grateful to the Belmont students, faculty, alumni, and others in Nashville and across the nation who care about education and equality. Everyone took a stand and made their voices heard," she related in the statement.

"I congratulate and praise Dr. Fisher for announcing this non-discrimination policy, which will set an example for Christian schools and universities across the country," the statement continued. "I look forward to seeing this policy implemented. I intend for my next job to be in a place where I feel safe and welcome. If Belmont is that place, then I will certainly consider reapplying."

Howe's players have said she was fired for telling them she is expecting a child with her same-sex partner.

Students at the school have demonstrated in her favor, pushing for a change allowing for freedom of sexual orientation at Belmont.

Neither Howe nor Belmont have specified why the coach left December 2. Belmont has said her departure was a "mutual decision."

Howe had coached at Belmont for six seasons.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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