Kelli Finglass: Where is the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders Director Now?

While it’s true CMT’s ‘Making the Team’ (2006-2021) has already made it clear Kelli Finglass is the no-nonsense director of Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, many often forget she’s also very human. However, Netflix’s ‘America’s Sweethearts: Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders’ doesn’t fail to explore this aspect, all the while maintaining she is indeed a direct, hard, precise, strict, yet loving coach. After all, not only does she have the responsibility of solely running as well as managing this entire global brand, but she also learned from the best considering she was once a DCC girl herself.

Kelli Finglass Became DCC’s Director at Just 27

Although Kelli Finglass was born in Waco, Texas, on December 30, 1964, before spending her formative years in Tyler, she calls Lindale her true hometown since that’s where she learned to embrace her authenticity. It turns out she’d actually found her passion for dancing at a relatively early age, yet it wasn’t until she grew up a little that she realized she wanted to pursue a career in it no matter how. She thus enrolled at Texas Christian University to study Modern Dance upon graduating high school, prior to also earning a Bachelor’s in International Marketing from the University of North Texas.

Yet more importantly, Kelli decided to try out for the DCC while still a higher education freshman in 1984, only to consistently, deservingly, keep making the team until after her graduation in 1989. Her director was the renowned Suzanne Mitchell, who’d taken up this position when the Cowboys football team itself was exploding back in the 1970s, propelling her squad into the limelight too. In the former’s own words, her coach hence “had to be a guardian… for an organization of very young and inexperienced women. She was just the right person for the right role during a time when things could’ve gotten out of control really quickly,” which inspired her.

Nevertheless, it doesn’t seem like Kelli initially aspired to follow in her exact footsteps — she was simply deeply devoted to the DCC brand, resulting in team owner Jerry Jones hiring her as an assistant director the same year she put her pom-poms down in 1989. She actually held this title for over a year before taking up a sales and marketing job within the institution, only to be promoted to director in 1991 — a role she’s utterly dedicated to even today. Though little did she know her ambition, creativity, drive, as well as vision would lead her to be considered a trailblazer not just within the walls of DCC’s universe but the whole cheerleading industry.

Kelli Finglass is the Reason Behind DCC’s Success

When Kelli Finglass was first handed the reins of DCC as director plus brand manager, her primary task was to evolve this business out of being a complete financial load on the Dallas Cowboys name. However, no one could have ever expected her subsequent ideas and their execution to work to such an extent the enterprise would gradually fall under the category of iconic — in fact, DCC is arguably the only NFL cheerleading squad with true global renown. All this took a bit of time, but it was the direct result of Kelli’s decisions to have merchandise, invite sponsors, make swimsuit calendars, convince Mattel to have a DCC Barbie, as well as much more.

As if this was not enough, Kelli has since even undertaken several projects to maintain DDC’s image and to give back to the community that has unwaveringly supported them for decades. This includes developing or refining different competitions they’ve created over the years, such as DCC Dance & Drill Team Competitions, Cheers for Years, plus Cheers for Fitness, all the while also establishing DCC Junior Camps for young, passionate cheerleaders.

Then there’s the fact Kelli is the brains behind the Cowboys Christmas Spectacular too, an electrifying free 20-minute show that has been performed every Friday and Saturday from Thanksgiving to Christmas since its creation in 2017 at The Star in Frisco. Though what’s even more imperative to note is that she personally screens requests for DCC appearances and served as an executive producer on CMT’s ‘Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team.’

In other words, with Kelli constantly, willingly putting in 16-hour days, attending nightly rehearsals, traveling with the squad, ensuring the girls always look and act their best, plus handling every appearance/merchandise/project detail, it’s clear DCC is her life. Yet, it’s one she enjoys because it has given her a sense of purpose — even with the stress of being DCC’s director and brand manager, she appreciates having an outlet for her creative ideas.

Kelli Finglass is a Public Speaker and a Family Woman Today

While running the daily operations of DCC does take up a majority of Kelli Finglass’ time and energy, she has recently managed to evolve into a motivational international public figure/speaker. In fact, whether it be cheerleading, entrepreneurship, marketing, nutrition, or handling the limelight in a vulnerable state, she knows she can engage with others concerning it all thanks to the life lessons her nearly four-decade yet ongoing career has bestowed upon her.

Coming to Kelli’s personal standing, it appears as if this Lindale native is currently happily based in Coppell, Texas, with her loving husband, Joel Finglass — they’ve been married since 1996 and share two adult children, Ryan as well as Samantha. The former did admittedly often miss a large portion of her kids’ daily lives while they were growing up because of her busy schedule, but the fact they’re all extremely close today makes it evident she always made up for it by being there when it mattered most. So today, despite being legally blind in her right eye owing to optic neuritis, she continues to juggle life and thrive as a working family woman.

Read More: Victoria Kalina: Where is the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader Now?