Marc VandeWettering, director of basketball operations for UW men’s basketball. Photo courtesy UW Athletics.
Marc VandeWettering, director of basketball operations for UW men’s basketball. Photo courtesy UW Athletics.

KAUKAUNA — When Marc VandeWettering was an all-conference player on the Kaukauna High School basketball team, he says he hid his true identity.

Now, he hopes to support others traveling on the same journey he did.

In an article published Thursday on the UW Badgers website, VandeWettering, the  director of basketball operations for UW men’s basketball, writes about his experiences as the only openly gay man on a men’s college basketball staff in Division I — that’s a total of 357 schools.

(READ: MyWords: Living My Truth)

He says it took him years, but on the day after Christmas in 2015 he told my family — parents Jeff and Kathy; older brother Phil and his wife Steph; and younger brother Jon — and, for the first time, showed them his truth.

He says since then, his family made it clear that they had his back and wanted to make sure he was protected. 

And now he wants to have the backs of those who are struggling with coming out and how it could affect those around them and their careers.

<em>Marc VandeWettering,  director of basketball operations for UW men’s basketball. Photo courtesy UW Athletics.</em>
Marc VandeWettering, director of basketball operations for UW men’s basketball. Photo courtesy UW Athletics.

“I don’t want anyone else to have to go through those feelings of maybe having to change careers because they can’t be openly gay and work in major college men’s basketball,” he said.

“If you’re reading this and are on this journey now, just know that I’m here to help,” he said. “Lean on people who know your struggle. There’s one certainty about coming out: There’s another family waiting for you.”

Read VandeWettering’s full story HERE.

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By Dan Plutchak

Dan Plutchak, born and raised in Kaukauna, is cofounder of Kaukauna Community News.