Kelli Finglass, coach,director, Dallas Cowboys, Cheerleaders, Texas
As director of the world famous Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, Kelli Finglass has earned a reputation as a distinguished leader and trend setter in the NFL. A native of east Texas, she is a graduate of Lindale High School and received her Bachelor of Arts degree in international marketing from the University of North Texas. Finglass proudly wore the star-spangled uniform for the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders from 1984 to 1989. She made her initial mark on DCC history by becoming the only cheerleader to be invited back by director, Suzanne Mitchell, for her fifth season with the Cowboys without having to go through the customary audition process.
After retiring from the squad in 1989, Finglass was hired by Jerry Jones as an assistant director to the cheerleaders from 1989 to 1990. She then took a position in the sales and promotions department for the Dallas Cowboys and in 1991 was promoted to director of the cheerleaders. She quickly stepped into the role of business manager and entrepreneur, deftly branding America's sweethearts and turning the department into a successful profit center for the first time in their 20 year history. Her astute attention to detail, creative insight and savvy marketing skills quickly produced remarkable results. Launching corporate sponsorships and developing innovative merchandising strategies are just a few of the accomplishments she has added to her resumé during her extraordinary career with America's sweethearts.
WHY KELLI WAS NOMINATED
Finglass personifies the high standards of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders and is an exemplary role model who demonstrates passion, focus and enthusiasm for the squad and women of all ages all across America. Her exacting expectations and commitment to each cheerleader is evident in their conduct both on and off the field. Her own demanding schedule requires a personal commitment to excellence that has produced stellar results both for her self and the organization.
As a guardian of the cheerleaders since 1991, Finglass has been instrumental in creating an institution that is "often imitated but never equaled." In 1993, she produced the first swimsuit calendar video which is distributed nationally for both television and home video audiences. She has also created and refined programs for the organization such as DCC Dance & Drill Team Competitions, Camp DCC, Cheers for Years and Cheers for Fitness. Her skillful tutelage and direction of the DCC show group has resulted in a highly acclaimed and sought after entertainment group with corporate clients that have included Sports Illustrated, JCPenney and American Airlines.
For the past few years, in addition to her formidable responsibilities as the DCC director, she has served as an executive producer for CMT's hit series Making the Team, which has documented the rigorous transformation of each cheerleader during their 12 week training camp. Kelly should win the CheerCoach award because even though the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders are not competitive cheerleaders and therefore does not get recognition of her talents through awards and trophies, she has put cheerleading on the global map by establishing the DCC as the epitome of professional cheerleading.