(above) DU freshmen Adam Murray and William Wrenn are the University's first openly gay couple.
The University of Denver is known as the curve-setter for political correctness in the collegiate world. From the replacement of their offensive, imperialist mascot Boone to workshops on microaggressions, they have set a tone of tolerance and acceptance. And now the school's hockey team sets out to break down one of the biggest barriers in today's society: gays in sports.
Two of Denver's freshmen, goaltender Adam Murray and defenceman William Wrenn, both of Anchorage, Alaska, are the University of Denver men's hockey team's first openly gay couple. According to the DU Clarion, the pair have been "best friends" since they were twelve. It appears they did not begin their relationship until after they both left for the United States' National Team Development Program in Ann Arbor, Michigan. "We just kind of hit it off," Wrenn was quoted in the Clarion, "We get along really well."
The Pioneers' coach, George Gwozdecky, is known for his commitment to diversity, reaching out to those who are differently abled. Gwozdecky's assistant coach, Derek Lalonde, suffers from alopecia universalis, while student assistant David Carle has a condition known as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Gwozdecky stated he is "always glad to help people who may be denied an opportunity simply because of their appearance, or their health concerns, or their sexuality."
"We really like playing for Coach Gwozdecky," Murray said in a recent interview. "He's just super!"
Wrenn added, "He's a fabulous dresser!"
Wrenn and Murray may be Denver's first gay couple, but they are not alone in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association. The University of North Dakota's Brett Hextall and Mario Lamoureux have been open with their relationship since a Valentine's episode of Brad Miller Time, a popular intermission video played at North Dakota home games, and the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities stars Danny Irmen and Ryan Potulny were rumored to be in a relationship as well, though they never publicly confirmed it.
Upon hearing about the couple, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities forward Jordan Schroeder issued a statement to the media. “I am fully committed to my heterosexuality. I have no intention to stop dating women and starting dating men. I think it’s important for me to publicly state that I am straight. I am happy for William and Adam and hope they reach their goal of gay marriage.”
When asked about how the Minnesota-Duluth student section's recent gaffe involving a homophobic chant would affect him this weekend, Murray seemed unconcerned. "It's not anything we haven't heard before," he said, shrugging it off. "I'll listen from my seat the bench and see if anything happens."