“Yours in Soccer.” That’s how Coach Powell ends every one of his emails. There’s no better summation of his attitude than that.
Today’s announcement that Coach Powell had resigned to take a position with Orlando City Soccer Club came as a bit of a surprise. However, I’m extremely happy for Coach Powell, as a person and as a coach. Yes, I’m disappointed he will no longer be the head coach at my alma mater, Elon University. But he’s someone who lives to serve the players and to see him get the chance to do it at the highest level is awesome to see.
Coach Powell has done more for my career than any coach I’ve ever had. He’s consistently put his reputation on the line for me and encouraged me when others told me I wasn’t good enough. He’s had success on the field, graduated players, and had his players move on to the next level, all at a school where people said it couldn’t be done.
When Coach Powell took charge of the Elon Men’s Soccer program, no one envisioned consistent top 25 finishes, consecutive conference championships and tournament wins. And he did it playing an attractive style of soccer that made his players better. He didn’t take short cuts, didn’t stack his team with international players or play territorial soccer, all of which can buy you short-term success at the college game. Instead he built the program from the ashes, and made the Phoenix into a regional power and a destination for players near and far.
His new position at Orlando City could not be a better fit. I’ve not come across a coach better at developing young players at all ages. He’s endued players with skills on the field, and values off of it, ensuring they succeed at more than just soccer. For this I am grateful. I became a player under Coach Powell and I’m ecstatic his methods are being recognized by the one of the top organizations in this country.
Best of luck Coach, and may you always remain “Yours in Soccer.”