20 Mar Corliss Fingers
Corliss Fingers is now in her third year with Bethune-Cookman University, serving as the Director of Strength & Conditioning for the 17-sport Division I program.
Now in her third year, Corliss Fingers has had her life in the weight room and outside as a mother chronicled in the web-based YouTube and Facebook series Beyond the Chalk in September 2017. As one of the only female head strength & conditioning coaches on the division I level of intercollegiate athletics, Fingers has been the subject of numerous articles throughout her time in the industry.
In December 2017, Fingers received the Judy Sweet Award at the NCAA Women Coaches Academy in Denver. The award, named in honor of Judith M. Sweet, served as the former Co-Director of the Alliance of Women Coaches and is a consultant for Title IX and gender equity initiatives. Fingers attended the 2017 NCAA Women Coaches Academy in December.
In her first year with the Bethune-Cookman program, Fingers helped the Wildcats to several achievements on the field/court and in the weight room. She implemented a new standard for the Wildcats with a structured workout set for each sport, as well as hiring fulltime assistants specified to work with individual sports as well.
In her second year, Fingers helped to increase all sports’ weight numbers, agility and endurance across their specific sports. She was instrumental in creating a board highlighting achievements for the student-athletes in the weight room.
Fingers, a 23-year veteran in the strength & conditioning field, arrived to Bethune- Cookman prior to the 2015-16 athletic term from Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She spent four years at Southern, serving in a similar capacity with the Jaguars program. In that regard, she also served as the first-ever female strength & conditioning coordinator in the history of the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC). In 2013, she was instrumental in Southern capturing the school’s third SWAC Football Championship game crown, defeating Jackson State by a score of 34-27. The following year, the Jaguars returned to the league title game, falling to Alcorn State, 38-34.
Away from the gridiron, Fingers also worked with the men’s basketball team that reached the NCAA Tournament in 2006.
Before her four-year stint at Southern, Fingers served for 15 years at the University of Maryland from 1996-2011, serving as an assistant strength & conditioning coach for the Terrapins. While at Maryland, she was directly responsible for the complete athletic preparation for 20 of the Terrapins’ 27 intercollegiate Division I programs participating in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). She was a critical part of the Women’s Volleyball program’s string of three consecutive ACC Championships, and was a valuable contributor to the football program’s three consecutive New Year Day’s bowl games from 2001-03. In the spring of 2005, Fingers was elevated to Assistant Director of Strength Training for football, to go along with her other duties and responsibilities. It marked the first time a female had been appointed to that position.
But of all her achievements in the strength and conditioning field, perhaps none have been as rewarding as the national championship earned in 2006 by the University of Maryland’s women’s basketball program. Fingers’ contribution in the preparation of the Lady Terrapins was a critical element in capturing Maryland’s first Women’s Basketball National Championship and setting a NCAA Division I record of 34 wins in a season.
Prior to Maryland, Fingers spent two years at her alma mater – the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, from 1994-96, serving as an assistant strength & conditioning coach. While at UNC, Fingers worked directly with the women’s basketball program, helping them to a 1994 national championship.
Corliss’ interest in sports began at the age of 5 when she began competing in track & field in her home state of North Carolina. She continued her successful track and field career through college where she competed for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In 1992, she graduated from UNC with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Physical Education with a concentration in Wellness and Fitness. Following graduation, she was a personal trainer and taught various levels of aerobic conditioning at a local gym. Corliss began her career as a collegiate strength and conditioning coach in 1994 where she served for two years as an assistant under
Head Strength Coach, Jeff Madden.
Corliss Fingers (formerly Corliss White) married Dr. Earnest M. Fingers on October 9, 2005. Together, the couple has one son.