Mike Pucillo nervously held his phone 15 months ago as he sat in his apartment trying to find the right words.
For months, the NCAA wrestling champion from Ohio State had tried time and again to share his biggest secret, but he couldn’t bring himself to verbalize two words.
Finally, on a December morning, Pucillo reached for his phone and tapped out a lengthy text message to his best friend and college teammate, Reece Humphrey.
The gist of the message was this: I’m gay.
“I think telling him was an unbelievable weight off my shoulders (and) I didn’t think I would feel that good just telling him,” said Pucillo, the first openly gay Division-I national champion wrestler. “Reece has always been someone with a very open mind and I thought maybe he would understand.”
Pucillo was a three-time All-American and 2008 NCAA Division I Champion.