Shane Wickes is a senior at the University of Nevada majoring in finance and economics. He is also an assistant football coach at Reed High School in Reno, Nevada.  According to a recent article in the Reno-Gazette Journal, Shane graduated from McQueen High School in 2012 and then went to Boise State before a knee injury ended his playing career.  Shane coached at McQueen for three seasons, and is now coaching linemen at Reed High School, the five-time defending Northern Region champion. 
Shane will discuss his personal experiences as a gay athlete and coach and the work he is doing to help raise awareness and support in the athletic community. He will be introduced by Ernie Howren, who is the head football coach at Reed High School.
At the University of Nevada’s 2016 TEDx event, Shane spoke about “Why I couldn’t let football keep me in the closet.”
In his TEDx talk, Shane shared his truth about being a gay football coach.  Being gay in football has at times caused serious conflicts with his ability to live his entire life with transparency and authenticity. Shane was faced with a choice -- leave the sport he loves so much or own up to an unpopular truth in the football community.
He decided that rather than leaving football, his experience could be used to shed light on a difficult topic. Shane’s ultimate goal is to spread awareness on the harmful effects that the modern football climate causes and to show other gay athletes and coaches that they are not alone.
Since his talk, Shane has begun working with the Sports Equality Foundation, a non-profit funded by Nike, which aims to create equality and support for LGBTQ athletes. Out Sports and other publications have featured his talk both nationally and in other countries.
Shane now travels to other football programs and various organizations speaking about the power of the locker room and raising awareness and support for LGBTQ athletes.
About Ernie Howren:

Ernie Howren grew up in Concord, CA.  Ernie played football at Clayton Valley High School.  Ernie received a scholarship to play football at Utah State University.  After 5 years in college Ernie went on to coach the varsity offensive and defensive line at Skyview high school in Smithfield, Utah.  In 1997, Ernie accepted a teaching coaching job at Reed High School.  After 4 years Ernie took over as the head coach at Reed.  Over the last 16 years Reed has won 7 regional titles and played in the state championship 3 times.


Ernie is married Erin, who also is a elementary teacher in the district.  They have 3 children, Mackenzie, Ashley,and Logan.  Mackenzie graduated from Reed and will be attending Nevada in the fall.  Ashley is a sophomore at Reed.