Warren Powers

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Warren Powers
Biographical details
Born (1941-02-19) February 19, 1941 (age 78)
Kansas City, Missouri
Playing career
1963–1968Oakland Raiders
Position(s)Running back, defensive back
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1969–1976Nebraska (DB)
1977Washington State
Head coaching record
Accomplishments and honors
Walter Camp Coach of the Year Award (1978)

Warren Anthony Powers (born February 19, 1941) is a former American football player and coach. He served as the head football coach at Washington State University in 1977, and the University of Missouri from 1978 to 1984, compiling an overall college football record of 53–37–3 (.586).

Early years[edit]

He was an all-state high school quarterback from Kansas City, Missouri, and played college football at Nebraska, earning three letters as a Husker. As a senior, he helped lead Bob Devaney's first Nebraska team in 1962.

Powers played professionally for six years in the American Football League (AFL) with the Oakland Raiders. As a safety, he started for the 1967 AFL Champion Raiders and in the second AFL-NFL World Championship game, known as Super Bowl II.[1]

Coaching career[edit]

Following his playing career, Powers was an assistant coach under both Devaney and Tom Osborne at the Nebraska from 1969 through 1976.

After leaving Nebraska, Powers took his unranked Washington State Cougars into Lincoln and knocked off the fifteenth-ranked Huskers in the season opener at Memorial Stadium.[2][3] The following year, he went to Lincoln with another unranked team, the Missouri Tigers and he pulled off a victory over a second-ranked Nebraska team. Missouri lost 25 straight games to Nebraska before their next victory over the Huskers, prompting Tiger fans to wonder what might have been had he stayed.

During his tenure at Missouri, Powers compiled a 46–33–3 (.579) record, including four straight bowl appearances from 1978 to 1981. His best seasons came in 1980 and 1981, where he posted consecutive 8–4 records. In addition, his Tiger football teams went 3–2 in bowl games, defeating LSU in the 1978 Liberty Bowl, South Carolina in the 1979 Hall of Fame Classic, and Southern Miss in the 1981 Tangerine Bowl. Missouri also played in the 1980 Liberty Bowl, a loss to Purdue and the 1983 Holiday Bowl, losing to a BYU Cougars squad led by quarterback Steve Young.

On October 24, 1979, the NCAA's Committee on Infractions publicly reprimanded Missouri for a violation of NCAA Constitution 3–2 related to a failure to exercise institutional control. The violation was in regard to the use of a fund established outside the university for the purpose of paying Powers for debt he assumed while negotiating to become MU's head coach. NCAA regulations require the university's involvement when its coach receives a cash supplement related to duties he is performing on the institution's behalf, and the NCAA found that MU had failed to do so in this case.

Head coaching record[edit]

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs Coaches# AP°
Washington State Cougars (Pacific-8 Conference) (1977)
1977 Washington State 7–4 3–4 T–4th
Washington State: 7–4 3–4
Missouri Tigers (Big Eight Conference) (1978–1984)
1978 Missouri 8–4 4–3 T–3rd W Liberty 14 15
1979 Missouri 7–5 3–4 4th W Hall of Fame Classic 20
1980 Missouri 8–4 5–2 3rd L Liberty
1981 Missouri 8–4 3–4 5th W Tangerine 20 19
1982 Missouri 5–4–2 2–3–2 5th
1983 Missouri 7–5 5–2 T–2nd L Holiday
1984 Missouri 3–7–1 2–4–1 T–5th
Missouri: 46–33–3 24–22–3
Total: 53–37–3

Coaching tree[edit]

Assistant coaches under Powers who became college or NFL head coaches:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Green Bay solid favorites over injury weakened Raiders". Lewiston Morning Tribune. (Idaho). Associated Press. January 14, 1968. p. 12.
  2. ^ Missildine, Harry (September 11, 1977). "Confident Cougars upset Cornhuskers". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). p. D1.
  3. ^ Drosendahl, Glenn (September 11, 1977). "Cougs upset Huskers". Lewiston Morning Tribune. (Idaho). p. 1B.