Beyond the Sidelines-
A Carolina Aviators Coaching Profile: Ebony Kimbrough
The Carolina Aviators start their inaugural season and quest for an Elite Indoor Football Championship on April 6th against the Winston Wildcats. With a new team in a new city comes new excitement and for special teams and wide receivers coach Ebony Kimbrough it presents a new opportunity.
To say that the Augusta Georgia native has worn many hats throughout her life would be a vast understatement. Ebony graduated with a Biological Science Degree in both Chemistry and Biology from UNC Chapel Hill in 1996. Ebony has also served our country in the Army as a combat medic for ten years and in terms of football she is a 20-year women's professional football veteran. In addition, she has owned her own salon, clothing boutique and she is a President of the Ruff Ryders Motorcycle Club in Charlotte. She also coached the defensive line for one year with the Carolina Knights and then two years with the Carolina Storm. Her playing career started in 1999 with the Carolina Cougars and in 2009 she assumed the coaching responsibilities with the Cougars.
In 2004 Ebony started her own team named the Carolina Queens. Owner, player and coach when it comes to football Ebony has done it all. Her experience certainly plays a part in her confidence. "I've always played the game with a lot of confidence and that confidence translates into my coaching. For a lot of guys this will be their first-time playing arena ball and because it's such a faster game I'm going to coach our wide receivers to be very aggressive off the line," she added. In December she played in her last all-star game but this one was for the best of the best. Ebony was a part of the Women's Football Hall of Fame All Star roster which was composed of players from all leagues not just one. Currently she's a real estate agent and still licensed as a physician assistant.
As a sports writer I am always curious to find out how the passion of the game has evolved in a coach, athlete or even fan but I must admit I was even more inquisitive about Ebony's story. "When I was younger my mom made my brother take me everywhere. He was under the impression that if I had to go with him, I had to play with him, so I played with the boys all the time. It's where my competitive spirit comes from. I've been playing sports all my life I just never had an outlet to play organized football. I've won a couple of championships, played in 18 all-star games and in that time, I’ve also played every position."
Confident, knowledgeable and passionate are all words I would use to describe Ebony. I also wanted to get her thoughts about the challenges about being a female coach in a business that is dominated by men. "Most men have a hard time accepting or understanding that some women know this game as well or if not better than they do. As a female coach I feel that I have to prove that I know what I'm talking about as opposed to a male coach who players would just assume such," she added.
Ebony and her play-making wide receivers start their journey towards a championship on April 6th against the High Point Wildcats, a game that will be broadcast live via YouTube. With her achieving so many accomplishments on and off the field I wanted to hear in her own words what winning a championship would mean to Ebony when she offered these thoughts, "To win a championship at this level would mean more than words can express. As I continue with the progression of my coaching career it would prove that indeed women can coach men at the professional level and be successful at it." Without question the Carolina Aviator coaching staff and players will benefit from the presence and leadership of Ebony Kimbrough.