Coach Willard to be part of Ventura County Air Show


Photo by: Keira Witham

Coach Jack Willard watching the varsity football team during a Friday night game.

Cam High varsity football coach Mr. Jack Willard will be flying with The Blue Angels, the flight demonstration squadron of the United States Navy, in an FA-18D Hornet at the Point Mugu Naval Base on Sept. 23, 2015.

“It’s going to be an incredible experience that I’ll never forget,” said Willard.

The CNATRA (Chief of Naval Air Training) recognized Willard as a Key Influencer, a person who has strongly influenced and shaped the youth of their community. Willard believes one of his players anonymously nominated him for the title, as coaching is something he is very passionate about. “I knew that when I was done playing [football] that [coaching] was something I wanted to do,” said Willard.

The Key Influencer selection process began last spring, consisting of a panel who reviewed the nominations 60-90 days before the scheduled airshow.  In July, Willard received an email confirming that he would be involved with the show.

“It’s a tremendous honor to think that somebody felt I was qualified enough to get in a plane with those guys and fly,” he said.”The opportunity to fly in a jet with the Blue Angels is incredible.”

Those who are to accompany the Blue Angels must be in excellent physical condition and with good reason, according to Willard. “It’s going to be very demanding,” he said. “It’s a physical flight.”

Outside of commuter flights, Willard has had no other aviation experience.”I hope I can just hang in there and battle as long as I can. I just look forward to enjoying it and having as much fun as possible.”