Fred Beckham, File
October 08, 2015

SMITHFIELD, R.I. (AP) Division I men's basketball has its first openly gay coach.

Bryant University assistant coach Chris Burns came out publicly in a personal essay posted Wednesday on Outsports.com (http://bit.ly/1jcvTD0 ).

Burns says that the Supreme Court decision in June legalizing same-sex marriage was so powerful that it made his decision to come out a ''no-brainer.''

Burns also says attending the Nike LGBT Sports Summit last year and meeting other members of the LGBT community helped him realize the importance of telling his story.

The Merrimack, New Hampshire, native says he's been coming out to people in the basketball world over the past few months, and their reactions have been positive and empathetic.

Burns played for Bryant from 2003-2007 and is entering his third season as an assistant coach with the team.

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