A baseball coach who told a player that gays should be put to death has apologised – and will be allowed to keep his job.

Tyler Dunnington, a former minor league pitcher with the St Louis Cardinals, made allegations earlier this month in an interview with Outsports.

Explaining his decision to quit the sport, he said: “I experienced both coaches and players make remarks on killing gay people during my time in baseball, and each comment felt like a knife to my heart.”

The claims were taken seriously – and a coach has now admitted making homophobic remarks.

Coach Sean McKinney, who was identified after an investigation at Colorado Mesa College, issued a public apology for his comments.

In an interview with Outsports, he conceded: “I’ve made some off-the-cuff comments, and one in particular was not right.

“Tyler heard it, and I apologized for it. Through this process I’m learning everyone’s stories and what the impact of our language is.”

He added: “As the story spread and more stuff was revealed, it got really tough this week.

“I’m forever in debt to the people in this university and my friends and family. They know my true character.

“Some of that is in question, obviously, because of what’s gone on with Tyler’s story. But I would never harm anyone on our team.

“This week I’m sure this has been questions about how I feel about Tyler. I hope he’s OK. I called him this morning to apologize. I want him to have a good life.”

He added: “This has been a tremendous learning experience. In meetings with our president and people across campus, I think this is going to go in a very positive direction.

“I’ll focus on my team and my guys to raise awareness. This is an experience we can use to move forward.

“I’ve talked to all of our players. We’ve had conversations, and they’ve gone great. And that will have a ripple affect across our campus.”