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.
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.
Bob Finley was an inspiration to his community, and we have erected the Finley Center at the Hoover Met Complex as an homage to his contributions. This sports complex boasts a whopping 155,000 square feet, with some 83,000 of that area dedicated to uninterrupted floor space for tournaments, banquets, trade shows, exhibits, social events, and more.
Along with its 11 basketball courts and 16 volleyball courts, the Finley Center also provides guests with food and beverage services, an exciting and fun climbing & adventure center, suspended walking track, pickleball courts, and more. It’s the largest and most sophisticated sports complex in the area!
We like to think that by creating the Finley Center that we’ve given Bob’s legacy of strong character and principles a way to live on. Please join us in honoring the memory of such a great coach, friend, and hero by visiting the sports complex. Not only do we think you’ll have a great time, but we also trust that you’ll come to appreciate the man who inspired it.