The football world is in mourning today following the passing of former Washington State and Missouri head coach Warren Powers. He was 80 years old and had been battling Alzheimer’s. His wife had passed away just a few weeks prior.
Born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri, Powers played running back and defensive back at Nebraska, where he lettered for three years. In three seasons he had 286 rushing yards and one touchdown. He then joined the Oakland Raiders, where he played six seasons as a safety and appeared in Super Bowl II.
After Powers’ NFL career ended he returned to Nebraska as a defensive backs coach, serving in the position for several years before being hired as head coach of Washington State. In his lone year with the Cougars, Powers went 7-4 – beating Nebraska in the team’s season opener.
Powers’ success at Washington State earned him the head coaching job at Missouri, where he quickly became a school legend. He led the Tigers to six winning seasons and five bowl games in his first six years, winning three bowl games and finishing in the top 25 twice.
Powers was relieved of his duties after a 3-7-1 season in 1984. In seven years at Missouri, Powers went 46-33-3. His final coaching record was 53-37-3.
Missouri fans across the country are expressing their condolences this morning:
“Warren Powers has passed away. He was the Tigers’ football coach when I was at #Mizzou. I had the pleasure of producing his coach’s show at KOMU-TV in 1979. #MIZ” wrote Jay Jennings of WROL.
“Condolences to his family and former players. I always felt that he didn’t get the appreciation he deserved and was underrated as a coach,” one fan replied.
“Prayer for the family of Coach Powers. Great photo by the historic rock M.”
Our hearts go out to Coach Powers’ family and loved ones.