Coast Guard Strength Coach Earns Fellowship with NFL

Hassell Earns Coaching Fellowship With the Carolina Panthers

New London, CT  Shaakira Hassell, the Coast Guard Academy head strength and conditioning coach, has been selected for the Bill Walsh Minority and Diversity Coaching Fellowship with the Carolina Panthers.

The NFL Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Fellowship is proud to celebrate 30 years of helping outstanding coaches gain exposure to NFL training camps and offseason workout programs.

The Bill Walsh NFL Diversity Coaching Fellowship uses NFL Clubs' annual training camps and minicamps to give talented minority coaches opportunities to:

  • Observe
  • Participate
  • Gain Experience
  • Ultimately gain a full-time NFL coaching position

Designed as a vocational tool to increase the number of full-time NFL minority coaches, all 32 NFL Clubs participate in the program on an annual basis. Specific aspects of the program (including hiring, compensation, and coaching duties) are administered on a Club-by-Club basis.  

Hassell just completed her third year as head strength and conditioning coach at the Coast Guard Academy.

"Being awarded the NFL's Bill Walsh Minority and Diversity Fellowship means a great deal to me. I've been in the field of Strength and Conditioning for over 14 years and have put in a lot of blood, sweat, and tears to get to where I am today," said Hassell. "There are very few women, more specifically, women of color in this field at any level (DI, DII, DIII) that hold a Head Strength and Conditioning coach position and directly oversee football as well."

Hassell has a degree in Self-Designed Sports Science from Beloit College in Wisconsin where she was the class president as well as master's degrees in Health and Physical Education from Valdosta State and Sports and Fitness Management from Troy University.

She then served as the assistant strength and conditioning coach at Troy University from 2007-2011 before taking the position at IMG Academy. Shaakira was the tactical strength and conditioning coach at Fort Bragg in 2014 and prior to that the strength and conditioning coach at IMG Academy in Florida from 2011-2013.

Hassell played for both the Chicago Force and the Atlanta Xplosion of the Independent Women's Football League (IWFL) and her Atlanta team won the 2006 IWFL Championship. She was also a member of the US Virgin Islands Women's National Basketball team practice squad.

She will report to the Panthers on July 24th. Carolina will open the preseason at Buffalo on Thursday, August 9th.

"I look forward to experiencing this blessed opportunity to work with the Carolina Panthers during their 2018 Training Camp," said Hassell. "So that I can bring back invaluable knowledge and expertise to the Coast Guard Academy that can possibly better our cadet-athlete's performance potential as well."