About Us


The Memphis Bears youth organization was created in 1996 based on Craig’s memories and experiences of youth athletics while serving in the Army stationed in Iraq (Desert Storm), which influenced him to give back to his community.   Craig recruited his childhood friends, 25 football players and 5 cheerleaders from his North Memphis Frayser neighborhood, to begin the Memphis Bears.

Today, MBI serves 200 to 300 boys and girls (between the ages of 5 and 15) participating in baseball, basketball, cheerleading, football, softball and track/field; along with the assistance of over 70 professional adult volunteers.

In 2004, Memphis Bears Youth Sports Program was reorganized with the development of a functioning executive board and board of coordinators, incorporation, name change to Memphis Bears, Inc. and later obtaining 501c3 status.

MBI offers life skills and leadership training, mentorship, volunteer opportunities, and participation in national and local sport competitions. We use our programs as a gateway to introduce & expose our youth to diversity, cultural awareness and positive experiences outside of their crime and gang infested neighborhoods that will last a lifetime.

All of our staff works diligently to offer programs that ensure their youth obtain understanding of sportsmanship, teamwork and love for their community.

The Memphis Bears along with Craig have been the recipients of several honors for both athletic excellence and their good deeds in the community.  Just to name a few:

  • Meritorious Community Service Award by former Mayor W. W. Herenton
  • Outstanding Community Service by former Congressman Harold Ford Jr.
  • River City Gala Community Man of The Year
  • Community Service Award Memphis Police Department
  • Commercial Appeal Jefferson Award for Public Service
  • Afro-American Police Officer of the Year
  • Shelby Youth Sports Coach of the Year  (2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008)
  • Liberty Mutual Responsible Coach of the Year
  • United Way Volunteer Mid-South Nomination
  • Men of Excellence Award Tri-State-Defender Newspaper
  • Board Member of The Year 2nd Place awarded by Volunteer Mid-South
  • Board of The Year 3rd  Place awarded by Volunteer Mid-South