On Monday, August 20, Collette Smith - the NFL’s first African American female coach - paid a visit to the Up2Us Sports Coach Training Institute. The event, which runs from August 18 - 21, is for newly selected coaches from Up2Us Sports' national service program. More than 65 coaches from Philadelphia and surrounding cities are gathered for a four-day residential training program, which focuses on how coaches and youth professionals can be more intentional about linking sport and life skills and integrating trauma sensitive strategies into their activities. At the end of the program, participants will receive Level 1, 2, and 3 certifications in sports-based youth development (SBYD) coaching, which is a first-of-its-kind certification, offered only by Up2Us Sports.
Smith and the New York Jets made history in 2017 when they hired her as a coaching intern for the summer, assisting defensive backs coach Dennard Wilson. She became the third woman to coach in the NFL. A Queens, NY native, she played three seasons with the New York Sharks of the Independent Women’s Football League before retiring to pursue coaching and other passions. An advocate for the transformative power of sport, Smith is also the Founder of Believe N You, Inc.