Cheryl Caldwell was born and raised in Beloit, Wisconsin. She was educated in the Beloit School System and the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Cheryl has been married for over 40 years to Jim Caldwell a career football coach. They have 4 adult children and 3 grand children. She enjoys spending time with her family, especially her grandsons, Trey, Joshua and Larry, traveling and golf.
Throughout the years Cheryl has been involved in many civic organizations in various cities in which she has lived. Nevertheless she had always longed for the day when she could help create a vehicle that would have an impact on the educational opportunities for young people in the community. Thus the Jim & Cheryl Caldwell Foundation was established.
In 2009, Caldwell and his wife, Cheryl, launched The Jim and Cheryl Caldwell Foundation. The Foundation is committed to the educational empowerment of children through digital technology and "Preparing young minds for advancement in the 21st Century."
To achieve this, the Caldwells create and provide community centers with integrated digital technology that serves as a catalyst to impact, change and enrich a child's learning proficiency.
In September 2014, The Jim and Cheryl Caldwell Foundation, in collaboration with the Detroit Lions, opened “The Project Phoenix Learning Center,” a new 21st Century computer lab and learning center at the Detroit Lions Academy. The learning center includes new computers with Promethean ActivBoards, ActivSlate, ActivExpressions, a network printer, internet accessibility and specialized interactive instructional software.
Caldwell returned to his hometown of Beloit, Wisc., in May 2016 where he and Cheryl opened their eighth Project Phoenix Learning Center. That learning center now impacts youth at the E.J. Dalton Boys and Girls Club.
Caldwell also supports the Midnight Golf Program that teaches under-served young adults the game of golf and important life skills, including financial literacy, college preparation and community activism.
Caldwell has served as honorary chairman for the Charlie Sanders Foundation “Have A Heart Save A Life” Celebrity Golf Outing, which provides support to Student Healthy Heart Check programs provided by Beaumont Hospital and the Henry Ford Health System.
During his first-year as the Lions head coach, Caldwell was honored by the Detroit Historical Society’s Black Historic Sites Committee after becoming the Lions’ first African American head coach.
Caldwell is a two-time recipient (2009, 2010) of the Fritz Pollard Alliance Johnnie L. Cochran Jr. Salute to Excellence Award.