Corliss Fingers has spent 27 years motivating and pushing college athletes to reach their maximum potential. She is one of the few African-American females to hold the title of strength and conditioning coach on the Division I level.
She’s worked at Maryland, Southern University, and currently is in charge of developing athletes at Bethune-Cookman. Throughout her journey, Fingers’ message has always been the same.
“I always tell all our athletes. You have to give your best because you don’t know if tomorrow is guaranteed,” she toldHometown News. “I go to sleep knowing I gave my best that day and I touched someone’s life,” Coach Fingers said.
Fingers has dealt with many different athletes who come in all shapes, sizes, and attitudes. Getting them to buy into her program isn’t always easy
“The most challenging part of the job is getting the young men to see how great they are and knowing what they can do.They are holding themselves back and we are changing their attitudes,” she told Southern University News.
In 2017, Fingers earned a significant honor, winning the Judy Sweet award that is presented to the NCAA coach whose spirit and dedication to their own and to others’ personal and professional success has made an impact on their peers.
“For me it was huge,” Fingers said. “For them to see me as someone that has done something amazing for the uplifting of women coaches who are pioneers in their profession, who are trying to do what is best and then pulling somebody else along, is awesome.”
Fingers is a true role model for women who want to take the path into strength and conditioning for college athletes. Her advice is simple:
“Work hard and don’t let anyone stand in your way. It can be done,” she told HBCUConnect.
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