Lieutenant Commander (Retired) Laurie Coffey hails from Corning, New York is the oldest of four girls. Commander Coffey’s early years were spent tinkering in her father’s “boat shop” and on nearly every playing field imaginable. Accumulating 18 varsity and 3 JV letters, she started competing on high school teams in 7th grade. She led Corning East to a 20-1 record in basketball her freshman year and a first-ever sectional title her sophomore year. Her lifetime of “firsts” included landing a spot on the roster of the boys’ high school lacrosse team in 1993. At boarding school for the final 2 years of school, she attended Phillips Academy Andover (Massachusetts), and her list of accomplishments continued to grow. She still holds the single-season scoring record in basketball, led the first boat in crew to a New England championship, and was inducted into the Phillips Academy Athletics Hall of Fame.

Coffey holding her daughter

Laurie received an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy and pursued a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science and a Minor in Russian while competing in two Division 1 sports. She was a four-year starter on the women’s basketball team, amassing 1,200 points – ranked 10th on the all-time Navy Scoring list – and leading the team to a Patriot League championship. Laurie also rowed in the Varsity 8, competed for the U.S. National U-23 rowing team in Greece, and won a gold medal in the double scull at the World Military Games in Croatia. Laurie is a member of the Naval Academy Athletics Hall of Fame. She was given special dispensation by the Navy to train for the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney with the U.S. National Rowing Team, the Olympic dream was cut short in an ill-fated try-out for several WNBA expansion teams which resulted in a ruptured Achilles tendon four months before the Olympics.

Commander Coffey’s performance in flight training gave her the pick of jets. After three years of training on the coveted F/A-18 Hornet, she was deployed on the USS Nimitz during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Coffey is one of 18 crew members from that six-month deployment featured in the PBS 10-part Emmy-award-winning documentary, Carrier. Amassing over 25 combat missions, 100 combat hours, 2,400 flight hours, 300 carrier landings, (over half at night), and the receipt of an Air Medal for her wartime operations, she was selected to become a flight instructor for the Hornet and Super Hornet based in Virginia Beach VA.

She served as a Flight and Tactics Instructor while also attaining her master’s degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from The Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. After retiring from 20 years of service, she worked for Amazon UK. Today, she is a 2nd year law student at the Syracuse University College of Law, and a full-time hockey chauffeur for her daughter Brooke’s, age 13, travel hockey club.

Coffey in pilot seat
Coffey and daughter in classroom