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Carey Green

Head Women's Basketball Coach

College: Coastal Carolina ('79)
Start Date: June 1999

You must be doing something right as a collegiate head women's basketball coach, if a 19-12 season is considered to be a bit of a letdown by many observers. That's just the case for Carey Green, the ninth-year head coach of the Liberty Lady Flames, who has raised the program's standards to an extremely high level.
Green has accumulated a 185-64 record on the Liberty bench, good for a winning percentage of .743. He currently ranks 12th among active NCAA Division I women's basketball coaches in winning percentage, ahead of renowned coaching names like LSU's Van Chancellor, North Carolina's Sylvia Hatchell and Ohio State's Jim Foster.
More importantly, Liberty has won the Big South Tournament title and advanced to the NCAA Tournament seven times with Green as head coach. Liberty has totaled 23 or more victories during six of those years, including the 2004-05 season, which saw the Lady Flames reach the Sweet 16 for the first time in program history.
Green has actually been to the postseason on 19 occasions as a women's basketball coach, a span which includes a dozen years as an assistant coach at Clemson. In all but one of the 19 appearances, he has experienced the NCAA Tournament.
Last season, the Lady Flames went 19-12 and tied for second place in the Big South. The season was highlighted by a 75-71 win at Virginia, which made the Lady Flames the first visiting team ever to triumph in the brand-new John Paul Jones Arena. Green also reached a coaching milestone with his 100th career Big South triumph, at home versus Charleston Southern on Feb. 19.
Rebounding and defense have always been staples of Green-coached teams, and the 2006-07 Lady Flames were no exception. Liberty outrebounded opponents by an average of 10.6 caroms per game, ranking fifth nationally. The Lady Flames have now been listed among the nation's top five teams in rebounding margin for four-straight years. Liberty led the nation in the category in 2003-04 and 2004-05 and placed third in 2005-06. The Lady Flames also ended the 2006-07 campaign ranked in the top 25 in the nation for field goal percentage defense (16th) and scoring defense (23rd).
The 2005-06 season represented one of the best coaching jobs of Green's career. The Lady Flames had lost the top four scorers from the Sweet 16 squad to graduation. Moreover, freshman Megan Frazee averaged 18.5 points and 9.8 rebounds per game through the first 14 games of her collegiate career, but was lost for the remainder of the season due to injury. Yet, Liberty was still able to win 25 games, capture its 10th-straight Big South title and earn its 10th-consecutive NCAA Tournament berth. 
Green's efforts were recognized by both the Big South Conference and the Virginia Sports Information Directors Association (VaSID). Both groups named Green as their women's basketball coach of the year at season's end. It was the third time he has won each of those honors and marked Green's second-straight selection as VaSID Coach of the Year.
A key late-season conference victory over High Point in 2006 made Green the winningest coach in Big South Conference history. The previous season, Green had passed Rick Reeves as Liberty's career wins leader.
The record-setting victory was just one of the many reasons the 2004-05 year was a special one on Liberty Mountain. A senior-laden Lady Flames team recorded upset wins over No. 4 seed Penn State (78-70) and No. 5 seed DePaul (88-79) in the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament, becoming just the second team ever to advance to the Sweet 16 as a No. 13 seed. The Lady Flames ended the season with their highest national ranking to date, 21st (USA Today/ESPN).
Even with all his accolades, Green is not yet satisfied. The native of Louisville, Tenn., located just outside of Knoxville, knows there's work yet to be done with the Lady Flames.
"We have some tremendous challenges ahead of us and I believe the team will be up to those challenges," Green says. "I am pleased with the direction and progress of our program but of course, I, as well as the team, have higher aspirations, goals and expectations."
Green's track record shows he has the ability to meet those challenges. The Lady Flames have recorded two wins over both Virginia and West Virginia and solo victories over No. 19 DePaul, No. 17 Kansas State, No. 25 Penn State, UNLV and Wake Forest during Green's tenure. The upset victory over No. 25 Virginia in 2003 marked Liberty's first win over a Top 25 team.
His record against conference foes is equally impressive. He led the Lady Flames on a Big South record 47-game winning streak and currently has a .911 (123-12) winning percentage against conference teams. Green has marched through conference play with one or fewer setbacks five times, while guiding the Lady Flames to two undefeated conference seasons.
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 finished the 2006-07 academic year with a 3.508 team grade point average, the seventh-best mark among NCAA Division I women's basketball teams. The Lady Flames were also one of only six teams in the country to feature a pair of ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District first-team selections, as Allyson Fasnacht and Megan Frazee each garnered the honor last season.
Last year's academic success was not an isolated incident for the Liberty women's basketball program. The Lady Flames have ranked in the top 25 nationally for team GPA three times during Green's eight seasons at Liberty. Liberty was 13th during his first season (1999-2000) and tied for 14th in 2005-06.
When Green came to Liberty, he was faced with a daunting task in his first year as a Division I head coach. Taking over the reins of a program with three-consecutive conference crowns in its trophy case, Green's role became the hunted rather than the hunter. Beginning with his arrival on June 8, 1999, Green took on the role as the favorite and accomplished what no Big South Conference school had ever done, taking Liberty to its fourth-consecutive NCAA Tournament.
Green arrived at Liberty after spending 12 years as an assistant at Clemson. While with the Tigers, Green participated in 11 NCAA Tournaments, making four Sweet 16 appearances and one trip to the Elite Eight, in 1991.
The Tigers were ranked in the Top 25 during 10 of his 12 years and averaged 22 wins per season. Green had an immediate impact in his first season, as he helped guide Clemson to the ACC's best turnaround in league history. The Tigers posted a 21-7 record in 1988 after a 7-21 record the previous season.
Clemson made five appearances in the ACC Tournament championship game with Green's assistance, winning the title during the 1995-96 and 1998-99 seasons. He helped coach 15 all-conference players, four Kodak District All-Americans and one Kodak All-American. Clemson also recorded 45 wins over Top 25 programs during the 12 seasons Green was stationed at "Death Valley."
Prior to his days at Clemson, Green was the head men's and women's basketball coach at Jackson State Community College in Jackson, Tenn., for three seasons. In 1986, he was named the Tennessee Junior College Athletic Association Coach of the Year.
From 1982 to 1984, Green was the head women's basketball coach at Rockwood High School after serving as the head men's basketball coach at Coalfield High School the previous season. Green got his coaching start as assistant men's and women's basketball coach at Roane State Community College in Harriman, Tenn., from 1979 to 1981.
"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 remarked. "I am so excited to observe our players' development and achievements. I was thrilled our team's GPA ranked seventh in the nation. This is evidence of our goal to have a ‘whole program,' neglecting no area of our players' development.
"My personal goal is a ‘50-year program,' one that develops women of excellence who impact the world for the next 50 years," continued Green. "It's exciting because our entire Liberty family assists me with that same goal. The University is growing, as is our basketball program, and I am excited to be here during this growth period.
"I hope to fulfill the dream and the vision that Dr. Falwell and our administration have shared with me," Green summarized. "They want our University to be THE Division I NCAA Christian University everyone looks toward in the United States. In my opinion, that means we need to be a Top 20 team. In order to do that, I believe we need to continue to find the many quality student-athletes who are out there playing and bring them to our campus. Once they visit our campus, they will experience the excitement and enthusiasm here at Liberty University."
Green leaves little doubt that he, his staff and the players will be striving for excellence on and off the basketball court.
He and his wife, Denise, reside in the Lynchburg area and have two children, Angie (29) and Brian (26). Angie married Jason Grunkemeyer, an assistant men's basketball coach at Miami (OH) University, in September 2006. Brian is currently working as an engineer at Fluor Corporation, in Greenville, S.C.