Sidney Powell, 39, joined the Tennessee Tech football coaching
staff in 2009 and heads into his sixth season in 2014. His original
assignment has expanded from working with the team’s talented
cornerbacks to coaching the Golden Eagle safeties and coordinating
the passing game defense.
An 18-year collegiate coaching veteran, Powell came to Tech after three years in a similar position at Ball State University. He has also coached at Massachusetts, Sacred Heart and Northeastern, helping win championships at every stop including the 1998 I-AA national championship while at UMass.
Powell is from Newnan, Ga., and graduated from Newnan High School in 1993. He was a four-time letterwinner and three-year starter as a safety at Morehouse College, receiving his bachelor’s degree in 1997 in health andphysical education.
His first coaching position was at UMass, working as a graduate assistant with the Minutemen in 1998 and 1999. He helped take the team from a 2-9 record before his arrival to the national championship and a 12-3 record in 1998.
His first full-time post was at Sacred Heart in 2000 and 2001. While there, Sacred Heart won 21 games in his two seasons after winning just four games in the previous two years. In the summer of 2001, Powell participated in the National Football League’s Summer Internship Program as a defensive backfield assistant with the Seattle Seahawks.
In 2002, he accepted a post at Northeastern University, helping to win the first league championship in school history.
He returned to Massachusetts in 2004 and 2005 and helped lead the team to a winning record both seasons. With Powell directing the secondary, UMass ranked first in the nation in scoring defense in 2005 and led the Atlantic 10 Conference in total defense, pass defense and pass defense efficiency. Powell tutored Shannon James, a first-team all-conference selection and the 2004 Atlantic 10 Defensive Player of the Year.
That success earned him a position as assistant coach at Ball State for three years. During that span, his secondary intercepted 32 passes and led the Mid-America conference. Among his standout players was MVP Erik Keys, a 2007 free agent signee with the Tennessee Titans. In 2008, Powell helped Ball State to a 12-0 regular season record and the GMAC Bowl, finishing the year ranked 23rd nationally. He coached safety Sean Baker who led the MAC in interceptions and was named Freshman All-America as well as the MAC Freshman of the Year.
Married to the former Charmer Chadan, the couple has two sons, Brandon (11) and Zachary (2).