Former Citadel head football coach Don Powers passed away on Monday after a lengthy illness. Powers was 73.
Powers was the head coach at The Citadel from 1996-2000 where he went 19-36 in five seasons. He was also a key piece of some of the best teams in program history in the early 1990’s, serving as the Bulldogs’ defensive coordinator under Charlie Taaffe.
Powers was named the Southern Con Defensive Coach of the year in 1990 and 1992, helping lead the Bulldogs to the 1992 Southern Conference Championship and a pair of I-AA playoff appearances. The Citadel posted wins over Army and Arkansas during Powers’ stint and the 1992 Citadel defensive unit ranked first in the NCAA I-AA in scoring defense, shutting out Appalachian State, VMI, and N.C. A&T. He also mentored two-time consensus All-America selection and Citadel Hall of Fame inductee, Lester Smith, who had his No. 15 jersey retired, and former cornerback Torrence Forney, who was also a first team All-America selection in 1992, and All-American kick returner Carlos Frank.
Powers was a legend as a player at Western Carolina and went on to coach at his alma mater for 12 seasons during two different stints. He was the defensive coordinator at WCU when the Catamounts played in the 1983 I-AA National Championship game at Johnson Hagood Stadium. He also coached at East Carolina and Western Kentucky.
A native of Lincolnton, N.C., Powers played collegiately at Western Carolina and was a three-time All-District NAIA selection at outside linebacker and defensive end. He graduated from WCU in 1967 and received his master’s from WCU in ’68.
He was inducted into the Western Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame as the lone member in the 2017 class.
In recent years, many of Powers' former players from The Citadel have banded together to compose a book in tribute to Powers called "The Powers In Us."
-per The Citadel Athletics