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Collette V. Smith

Collette V. Smith

1st African American Female Coach in NFL History

Collette V. Smith

1st African American Female Coach in NFL History


Collette V. Smith is the Founder and President of Believe N You, Inc. and the NFL’s 1st African American Female Coach in the History of the National Football League by way of being the 1st Female Coach in NY Jets Franchise History, Coaching the Defensive Backs in 2017 during Training Camp.

Smith is a former Women’s Professional Football Player playing two positions as a Defensive Back and Special Teams on Kick Off, Defensive Backs Coach and was the Director of Marketing, PR, Promotions and Events for the New York Sharks women’s pro football team in two Women’s Professional Football Leagues, the WFA-Women's Football Alliance and the IWFL- Independent Women’s Football League. She didn’t start playing professional football until the age of 42. The Sharks recently won the National Championship in July of 2018 in Atlanta, GA.

Collette today is a social philanthropist and an entrepreneur specializing in motivational speaking engagements and has been invited to speak at Fortune 100 Companies, Corporations and Ivy League Institutions including Columbia University to speak on disparities women in sports face and the empowerment of black youth, girls and women to see their greatness and excellence through adversity.

Smith was recently Honored with the HUMANITARIAN AWARD by Leigh Steinberg during Superbowl LVI February 2022 in Los Angeles, CA. and is the only woman to have ever received an award in this capacity from him. She was also Honored with the Legacy Award and Keynoted the NAACP’s Legacy Gala, guest speaker at Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network’s “House Of Justice” for their YOUTH HUDDLE program’s live video broadcast, Rev Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow Push Coalition Summits and visits Juvenile Detention Centers to bring hope and inspiration through her own struggles of Hard Knocks to Triumphs to those that need a second chance at Life amongst many other initiatives that will benefit others.

She is a true Change Agent and has dedicated her life to empowering our youth, in particular girls and women to know that Any and Everything we desire IS Possible if we Believe In Ourselves. Her cultural and gender specific loyalty is very important to her. She emphasizes the importance of building positive self-esteem through team sports to at-risk teens and women in low-income, underserved and marginalized communities. 

She believes in Black Excellence working towards giving our youth a fighting chance at winning and empowering them with the right tools to succeed in life both on and off the field. Her mission is to have a positive impact on the development of our young sisters and brothers, who Will and Can become the strong, effective leaders of tomorrow. 

Smith was recently featured in a Docu-Series on the Nationally Acclaimed Network BETHer for their show Exceptional Black Women alongside MC Lyte, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Meagan Good and Terri J. Vaughn and is currently in production for her own Full-Length Documentary and working on two books, Unapologetically Collette… stories from the NFL’s 1st African American Female Coach in History and Get Off The Bench.

Collette has been invited to Cameroon, Africa, Germany and Turkey to coach girls and women there to play American Football, Conduct Lectures and hold Round-Table Forums on essential life skills including learning to value ourselves and have a “never give up attitude” taking her mission and company, Believe N You, Inc. global.

Smith was the Grand Marshall at the 50th Annual African American Day Parade in Harlem, NY September 15th, 2019 as an honored individual that has made key contributions to furthering the dignity, determination and excellence of the African American Community by way of using her platforms to contribute to the success of this community and the country.

She was recently Honored at the Power of Influence Awards for the “Year Of The Woman” Award on February 1st, 2019 in Atlanta, GA with Jermaine Dupri, Singing Sensation “Monica”, T.I., Ray Lewis and Atlanta Mayor, Keisha Lance Bottoms.

She is the only woman to have ever spoken on the “Chalk Talk” Panel for the NFL Alumni’s Official Superbowl Game Day Brunch alongside Legendary NFL Hall of Famers at Superbowl LIII and LIV in ATL, GA. and Miami, FL. She was also Honored by Danny Glover’s Power of Dreams Award March 22nd, 2019 at the United Nations in NYC.

Smith is an Ambassador for the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Up2UsSports, Billie Jean King’s Women’s Sports Foundation and the Voss Foundation which facilitates access to clean water for women in Rural Africa and a Board Member for “My Sister’s Lighthouse”, a domestic violence awareness organization that promotes support to women dealing with abuse as a survivor herself, she understands the support that is needed in order to live an emotionally healthy, satisfying and fulfilled life.

Smith is also an Official Wish Grantor with the Make A Wish Foundation and two-time recipient of the Best Mentor Award with Allan Houston’s Entrepreneurial Program for Urban Youth, the recipient of the Trailblazer Award by “One Hundred Black Men”, several NAACP honors and Citizen Of The Year by the Xi Lambda Lambda Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated. She received the Community Service Award via WBLS and Emmis Communication at the Circle of Sisters Event in NYC and the Dr. Bob Lee, “Make The Grade Foundation”.

In addition, Smith is also the recipient of several Awards by the New York Sharks, Women’s Pro Football Team including the Sharon Pascale Award, the Owner’s Award and the Captain’s Award. She has also received “The Certificate of Recognition” by New York Majority Leader Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Senator Leroy Comrie and The Council of The City of New York via Councilman Andy King, the New York State Special Recognition Award by Senator Monica R. Martinez, Proclamation by Suffolk County Legislature Presiding Officer Mr. DuWayne Gregory, Citation by New York State Assembly via Kimberly Jean-Pierre and Recognized by Billie Jean King’s Women’s Sports Foundation (WSF) at their 38th, 39th and 40th Annual “Salute to Women In Sports”.  In addition Smith received the Women’s Academy of Excellence “P.EA.R.L.S Award” amongst many other recognitions.

In prior years Collette marketed Fortune 500 Companies including Swatch Watch and headed a team at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, GA. Smith also a marketing specialist worked at a Radiology Company that aided in implementing paperless environments. Smith was a broker for Halstead Property with 18 years working in the NYC Real Estate Market specializing in New Development Sales and also worked with Local 79 in construction for more than 10 years.

In addition to this brief look into who Collette V. Smith is, she has been recognized for her outstanding accomplishments and contributions of distinguished women throughout the world and was bestowed by Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated with one of the Sorority’s highest honors – Honorary Membership in her beloved Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated.

Collette has an audacious approach in taking on everything she encounters seriously, passionately and with great care and drive. Smith is a Champion at tackling non-traditional roles that Women play in the workforce and in life.

Speaker Videos

Organizational Leadership Series with Collette V. Smith: Female Empowerment

Meet Collette V. Smith

Women in Sports

Essence Award

NAF Speech

Believe in You

NAACP Speech

Speech Topics

Believe N You: Making Tomorrow Better, TODAY

Whether she's a keynote speaker or a workshop leader, Collette is dedicated to using HERSTORY to assist others in breaking through the barriers that limit them. Collette has proven that if you believe in yourself, you too can defy the odds that are stacked against you and achieve the impossible. Collette's audacious approach motivates individuals to tap into their inner strength in order to tackle the unthinkable. She is driven by passion, purpose, and the desire to see others win in life.