FCA has honored Liberty University head women’s basketball coach Carey Green with the 2019 Kay Yow Heart of a Coach Award.
Green’s award was announced in front of a Liberty home crowd March 13 before the Lady Flames’ semi-final game of the Atlantic Sun Tournament, where they defeated the North Florida Ospreys, 65-51, to advance to the championship game March 17, when the Flames fell to No. 1 seed Florida Gulf Coast University.
“All of us at the Fellowship of Christian Athletes are thrilled to honor Liberty women’s basketball coach Carey Green, who has displayed the FCA values of integrity, serving, teamwork and excellence throughout his career,” said Shane Williamson, FCA President and CEO. “The greatest influence in an athlete’s life is a coach, and there is no greater calling for Christ-following coaches than to influence their players for Jesus.”
Named for the late North Carolina State coaching icon Kay Yow, the award is presented annually by FCA to honor a basketball coach who has exemplified biblical principles over the course of his or her career. Kay Yow, who passed away from breast cancer in 2009, was presented with the inaugural award at the 2008 Women’s Final Four in Tampa.
Carey Green has served as the Liberty women’s basketball head coach since 1999, instilling a winning tradition during his tenure with the Lady Flames. His teams have averaged 23 victories per year, while becoming a regular fixture in the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship. Green has accumulated a 440-168 record in 19 seasons on the Liberty bench, good for a winning percentage of .724. He currently ranks 16th among active NCAA Division I women's basketball coaches in winning percentage.
Before his time at Liberty, Green spent 12 years as an assistant coach at Clemson and has been to the postseason on 28 occasions (25 NCAA, 3 WNIT). Liberty has notched 16 20-win seasons in Green’s 19 years at the helm. He is a five-time Big South Coach of the Year and a five-time Virginia Sports Information Directors (VaSID) State Coach of the Year, including his latest VaSID honor in 2017-18.
The 2017-18 Lady Flames enjoyed the second biggest single-season turnaround in program history, going from 13-17 to 24-10 in one year. Liberty claimed both the Big South regular-season and tournament titles during its final year as a conference member, returning to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2015.
The Lady Flames have not only gotten the job done on the hardwood under Green’s tutelage but have also excelled in the classroom. Liberty has ranked in the top 15 nationally for team GPA five times during Green’s leadership.
“The reason we are here at Liberty is to develop not only a winning tradition at the national level, but champions in all areas of life,” Green said. “I am so excited to observe our players’ development and achievements. I am thrilled our team’s GPA regularly ranks among the nation’s leaders. This is evidence of our goal to have a ‘whole program,’ neglecting no area of our players’ development.”
Prior to his days at Liberty and Clemson, Green coached at Jackson State Community College, Rockwood High School, Coalfield High School and Roane State Community College, all in Tennessee.
Green is a native of Louisville, Tennessee. He and his wife, Denise, reside in the Lynchburg area and have two children and five treasured grandchildren.
Daniel M. Lumpkin, Liberty Director of Player Development, shared that Green “faithfully intertwines the teachings of the Holy scriptures into team meetings, practices and games and knows that his purpose is ultimately a higher calling than simply coaching basketball. He cares deeply for the hearts of the young ladies he coaches and mentors and knows that the most important lessons he can teach them deal with their spiritual well-being and their future in the Kingdom of God.”
A current Liberty player said this of Coach Green in a nomination letter: “The girls he has coached throughout his years have been subject to many battles and through each one the Lord has laid continuous wisdom on his heart. He fights for his players as if they were his own children: he counsels, guides, loves, encourages, and prays for each of his players.”
Green will officially be honored with the award April 7 at the FCA/Kay Yow Heart of a Coach Breakfast at the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association Convention in Tampa Bay.