Charlie Powell is finally calling it quits from Penn track.
Powell, the head coach for the men’s track and field team for the past 25 years, announced on Monday that he would step away from coaching the Quakers.
However, less than a day later it was announced he would join SPIRE of Track & Field Academy as a director of its programs.
The rock behind the men’s track program at Penn, Powell is one of the most well-regarded figures in collegiate track and field. A lively character whose passion never failed to show, he leaves behind a legacy at Penn.
Since 1989, the Red and Blue have had a least one Heptagonal champions each year and under Powell’s tutelage 14 Quakers have been named All-Americans. During that time Penn has also had two NCAA individual champions and more than 100 Heptagonal champions.
His teams have won five Heps titles and he was even named Mondo Mid-Atlantic Coach of the Year by the United States Track Coaches Association in 2002.
Powell, a Western Kentucky alum, was in his 30th year with the Quakers. Prior to joining the Penn staff, he was a head coach at Delaware and an assistant coach at Western Kentucky. He competed in college, qualifying for the NCAA Championships as a decathlete and hurdler.
SPIRE, which is located in Geneva, Oh., is an indoor multi-sport complex, that includes an artificial turf field, an aquatics center and 8-lane 300 meter Benyon track.
There, Powell will supervise the track and field events at SPIRE, which in the past has hosted a number of invitationals for Div. I and II.
In the past Powell has served as the director of Penn Relays Distance Night, which is held the Thursday night of the carnival. In addition he has been member of the Penn Relays Planning Committee since 1984. He has also served as a member of the Penn Relays High School and College Championship Committees. It is unclear if he will remain in any of those roles.
SPIRE released a press statement today announcing the addition:
I can’t wait to get started on this new challenge and new chapter of my life,” Coach Powell said in a statement. “SPIRE is breaking new ground as the ultimate training, education and competition facility in the country for not only elite athletes and Post Graduate athletes, but also for high school, collegiate, professional, Paralympic and masters level athletes. The unique presence of the Michael Johnson Performance Center and one of, if not the, best track & field complexes in the world, allows all athletes to re-vitalize and re-think the road to success. I am honored to become involved in such an endeavor.”
Assistant coach Rob Martin, one of Powell’s former athletes and an 11-time Ivy champion, will take over the reigns of the men’s track and field team on an interim basis. The search for a successor will begin in the spring.
Continue to check The Buzz for the latest information regarding Powell’s departure.
*Correction: An earlier edition of this article had incorrectly stated that Powell had resigned on Sunday instead of Monday.*
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