Judy Green skipped the fanfare when she reached a coaching milestone victory recently. But the Thompson Lady Warriors girls’ volleyball coach was proud of being part of her 750th win as a head coach.
“I’ve been blessed with a very successful career and been around a lot of great young women, who have just been a joy to coach,” said Green. “It’s a tribute to all of them, because each one of them had a contribution in each one of those wins.”
The milestone victory came earlier this season when the Lady Warriors knocked off Vestavia Hills. Green said she didn’t inform her players of the feat but it is proud that the accomplishment came while leading this team.
“Volleyball is still very fun for me,” Green said. “Coaching volleyball is still my passion. I’m just thrilled I got to do it at Thompson and thrilled I got to be a part of this team that we have this year.”
This year’s Thompson team has contributed 21 victories thus far.
“If you don’t enjoy the people you’re around every day, it doesn’t make anything worthwhile, in my opinion,” Green said. “When you come to the gym every day, as a coach, you want to be around people that want to succeed and have that expectation of themselves to be a little bit better, every day they have that opportunity to grow. That’s really what we’ve done this year. We’ve talked about growing and growing daily. We just try to stay in the moment and enjoy the day that we have.”
Green said she was unaware that she was nearing 750 wins until reading a weekly email from a local reporter, asking if any coach or player had reached or was close to reaching a milestone. She decided to count up her victories and discovered a milestone was approaching.
“Let’s put it this way, when it comes to high school coaching victories, I’m just a rookie, compared to some of the ladies in our state,” Green said. “I mean, gosh, they’ve won over 1,300-1,400 matches in their high school careers.”
Green jokes that she took a backward approach to her coaching career – beginning in college before moving into high school. Most of her victories came as a coach at the University of Alabama, University of Montevallo and Birmingham-Southern College. She spent 15 seasons at Alabama, leading the Crimson Tide to three NCAA Tournament appearances, including the school’s first trip in 2005. She led Montevallo to seven NAIA top 10 finishes in 10 seasons.
Green also served as the UAB volleyball director of operations before taking over the Thompson volleyball program in 2015.
“I think coaching is coaching,” Green said. “It’s creating relationships with your players, your coaching staff. I think the biggest difference I’ve seen is not every high school player has that dream of going on to play at the collegiate level. Some of them are playing it because they truly just love the sport, but it’s not what’s going to take them to college. I think there’s a beauty in that.”