By Drew Menard/Liberty University News Service Across a silhouette of rolling green hills, a streak of navy blue and yellow blasted across the sky as Carey Green, head coach of Liberty University'swomen's basketball team, was given a ride in a U.S. Navy Blue Angels jet.
While on the approximately 30-minute ride in the Boeing F/A-18 Hornet, Green reached heights of 30,000 feet, experienced some aerial stunts firsthand, and felt the force of 7 Gs.
"I'm still taking it in," Green said shortly after getting his two feet back on the tarmac. "It's unbelievable. We did a loop and 360s."
The Blue Angels were in town for last weekend's Lynchburg Regional Airshow, sponsored by Liberty University. Green was one of two "key influencers" from the community selected for a free flight (along with E.C. Glass High School Assistant Principal Rose Flaugher) for "their tremendous dedication to serving and mentoring local youth and their positive influence in the community," according to an airshow press release.
Green has served in his current role at Liberty since 1999.
"During his career he has positively impacted the lives of thousands of youth," the release said. "In his time at Liberty alone, for 17-plus seasons he has coached and mentored over 289 young ladies. In addition to mentoring and coaching members of his team, Mr. Green has directed 16 basketball summer camps, leads several coaching clinics during the year for children ages 7-12, works with the local elementary schools' Reading Enhancement Program, and has led several international coaching clinics in South Africa and Lithuania."
Green said the ride was a "big-time challenge physically."
"(I have) even more of an appreciation for the guys who fly these. They are the best in the world. It is just an amazing opportunity and a privilege (to fly with them)."
Before takeoff, Green said that he avoids roller coasters and has a fear of heights. But it did not show in his face as he radiated a calm energy, joking with his wife, mother, and members of his team who had all come out to support him.
"You have to face your fears," he said. "Maybe this is therapy for me. Maybe after this I'll never fear any heights; roller coasters will be a walk in the park after this."
Green's father and father-in-law both served in the Navy so he said it was special for him to be able to fly with a Blue Angel.
"I am really grateful for the men and women in our armed services and how they protect us and serve us and fight for our freedom and our liberty," Green said. "It is just an honor to be associated with them in a very small way."
For more videos featuring Liberty athletes and alumni, visit: www.GameOnLU.com andwww.Facebook.com/gameonlu
Like Us on Facebook
Follow Us on Twitter
Follow Us on Instagram