the inspiration for the finley center sports complex
Curious about the man behind the name? Learn about Robert O. Finley, the man in whose honor we have built The Finley Center, an indoor sports complex for children and adults that was made possible by his upright character and community values.
Learn about Robert. O. Finley
They say that in life reputation is what people think you are; but character is what you truly are.
Coach Bob Finley symbolized character. As the longtime head coach at Hoover’s W.A. Berry High School, Coach Finley taught his students as much about character and integrity as he did football. According to Chuck Kramer, “He was more than a coach – he was a father, a friend, a role model.”
A native of Fayette, Alabama, Coach Finley never met a stranger. As a young athlete, he was a three-sport letterman at Fayette County High School. He would go on to play football at Marion Military School and the University of Tennessee, where he graduated Cum Laude. Alongside athletic prowess, Coach Finley never forgot his humble roots or his faith.
During his tenure at Berry High School, Coach Finley cultivated award-winning athletic programs few schools could match. He went on to gain membership in the Alabama High School Coaches Hall of Fame in 1992 for his leadership on the football fields and basketball courts.
Now, years later, Coach Finley’s life is still celebrated throughout the area. His character lives on – going far beyond the athletic fields. His legacy was left for all of us and continues through the annual Finley Awards Banquet. It’s part of a character recognition program which began in 1996. Scheduled each spring, the banquet formally recognizes three Finley Award winners – two graduating students, one from each HCS high school, and one HCS employee. It also recognizes grade-level Character Education Award Winners.