News Opinion Sports Videos Community Schools Churches Announcements Obituaries Events Search/Archive Community Schools Churches Announcements Obituaries Calendar Contact Us Advertisements Search/Archive Public Notices

His mentors have guided Aaron Green’s transition from player to coaching success

To say that basketball has been a big part of Aaron Green’s life would be an understatement.

“It’s been pretty much all I’ve known,” said Green, who recently began his 14th season at Oak Ridge High School.

“My dad was a coach. He was my coach at Sweetwater High School and he’s now working with me.

“Basketball has brought me great memories and great success,” he said.

Green’s father, Danny, is now his assistant coach.

When Aaron was at Sweetwater High School, he and his father won a state championship.

After high school, Green got the opportunity to play college basketball in the Southeastern Conference at the University of Tennessee. In Knoxville, Green played for the Volunteers under head coaches Kevin O’Neill and Jerry Green.

He coached at Cleveland High School from 2000-07 before returning to UT to serve as an assistant to Bruce Pearl from 2007-10.

Then, he landed with the Wildcats, where he has played his role in continuing the school’s storied basketball tradition. Since coaching at Oak Ridge, Green has guided the Wildcats to the state tournament four times.

The team qualified for the state tournament in 2019-20, but the tournament was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Green, throughout his time in basketball, has learned from his mentors, including his father.

“My dad has always been a mentor for me,” he said. “He was my coach and we won a state championship together at Sweetwater. And I learned a lot from my mom. She was always there. You always look up to those people.

“I learned from all of my coaches. I learned a lot about defense from Kevin O’Neill and I learned from Jerry Green and I learned a lot from Bruce Pearl. My dad is probably my biggest mentor. He has been coaching for 40-plus years in high school. He and my mom instilled values in me from an early age.”

Green has been coaching for more than three decades. In that time, he’s seen changes in both coaching and education as a physical education teacher at ORHS.

“Things change, no matter what profession you’re in,” Green said. “It’s just like anything else, you have to adapt

“People say kids have changed, and I don’t know if I agree with that, but society has changed. We changed some of our core values.”

Although he’s been in the coaching profession for a long time, he keeps coming back.

“I’m competitive and I love having the opportunity to develop young men,” Green said.