By: Wells Dusenbury & Ken LaVicka
ESPN 106.3 Staff Writers
Jupiter looked within the community to find its next head football coach.
The Warriors have hired former Jupiter Christian head coach Bill Powers to take over the football program. Powers spent ten seasons as the Eagles' head coach, accumulating an 89-30 record with two State Championships.
"He's Bill Powers," said Jupiter Athletic Director Mike DeLeonardo. "He's a proven winner. He's in the community. He's raised some fantastic kids himself. He's raised great student-athletes."
"I think most people look at me as a hard-worker and someone who's had success," said Powers following a tour of the Jupiter football facilities. "I know that's what [the community wants]. I'm going to do everything in my power to live up to that reputation."
Powers took the reigns at Jupiter Christian in 2005, inheriting a program that had lost 17 straight games, and led the team to immediate success. The Eagles went 47-5 in his first four seasons, highlighted by state title wins in 2007 and 2008.
After a decade with the school, Powers announced last February that he would stepping down after the 2014 season. Powers went 6-6 in his final year with the program, leading the Eagles to the Class 2A Regional Championship. He was named Suncoast's defensive coordinator in February but will now vacate that position.
Powers takes over a Jupiter program that's struggled mightily in Class 8A over the past decade. Jupiter last made the postseason in 2004 and is coming off a 1-9 campaign in 2014. The Warriors went 5-24 the past three seasons under head coach Doug Uccelini. Powers' biggest challenge will be changing the culture in a school where football has long been an afterthought amongst the student body.
"To come in and really make your mark, you need a guy like Bill Powers, who will give structure and be demanding," said DeLeonardo. "He's the perfect fit for what we're looking for. He's a coach's coach."
Powers isn't fazed by Jupiter's lack of recent success.
"It's one of the biggest schools in the state (2,300+ enrollment). It has great facilities and great kids. There's no reason we can't be really good at football."
Powers will be just the school's third head coach since 1982. Prior to Uccellini, Charlie Persson coached the Warrriors for 30 seasons, leading the school to a 144-165 record.
Because of the late April hire, Powers is now tasked with hustling to develop an offseason program with the spring football period opening on Monday. He plans to work on conditioning and get equipment out to his new players in the first few days of camp, then refine details on what's to come over the summer and into the fall.
Until then, however, Powers is very clear about the big picture for his plan at Jupiter.
"It's just the beginning," said Powers. "I don't want to do it with my mouth, though. I want to do it with my actions.
"I want to mentor these young kids. I want to make them great human beings and great fathers and great brothers and great leaders in their community. I'm going to make them overachieve, make them do things they didn't think they could do."