A decade after coming out gay, Rick Welts, the NBA's first openly gay executive, has announced that he'll retire at the end of the season.

Welts, 68, has served as the Golden State Warriors' president and COO since 2011. He previously worked for the Phoenix Suns.

In a press release, the Golden State Warriors said that Welts would continue with the team in an advisory position.

“This has been the ride of a lifetime,” Welts said. “To have had a front row seat to the growth of the NBA from where it was in the late 1930s to its place today as one of the most respected and successful leagues in sports on a global stage has been an incredible privilege.”

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said that Welts “played a transformational role in creating the modern NBA during his more than 40 years as a pioneering league and team executive.”

Welts publicly came out in a 2011 New York Times interview. He told the outlet that he paid a high price for remaining in the closet, including having to silently grieve the death of a lover from AIDS.

“[I want to] pierce the silence that envelops the subject of homosexuality in men's teams sports,” he told the Times.

In 2020, Welts married his partner of nine years, Todd Gage, at San Francisco City Hall. The ceremony was officiated by Mayor London Breed.

(Related: Rick Welts thought it inevitable as a gay man that he would contract HIV.)