P.K. Yonge girls basketball coach Willie Powers retires

Willie Powers stepped down as the P.K. Yonge girls basketball coach on Wednesday after 21 years, two state titles, one state runner-up finish and 19 district tournament championships.
Willie Powers stepped down as the P.K. Yonge girls basketball coach on Wednesday after 21 years, two state titles, one state runner-up finish and 19 district championships.
Photo by C.J. Gish

On Wednesday, P.K. Yonge girls basketball coach Willie Powers announced his retirement from Blue Wave Athletics.

“There are not many names as synonymous with the Blue Wave as Coach Willie Powers and no amount of words that could capture his impact on the program,” said P.K. Yonge Athletics Director Valerie Flournoy. “We will personally and professionally miss having Willie at P.K. Yonge as a coach but look forward to honoring his legacy.”

Powers, who coached the Lady Blue Wave for 21 seasons, led P.K. Yonge to two FHSAA state titles and 19 district championships.

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“Hopefully I gave this school more than what they had before I got here,” said Powers, who served two stints. “Hopefully we developed a program that is statewide looked at as a well-oiled machine. We were always in the fight.”

During his first coaching stint from 2003-2008, Powers led P.K. Yonge to a Class 2A state runner-up finish.

He returned in 2010 and led the Lady Blue Wave to the Class 2A state title with a 63-36 win against Community School (Naples) in his first year back at the helm.

Powers followed that up with another state championship two years later in 2012, which culminated in a 58-43 win against Parkway (Miramar) to win the Class 3A state title.

On Nov. 16, 2020, Powers won his 500th game with a 50-42 win against Madison County.

Last year, he won his 19th district title with a 51-47 win against Trinity Catholic (Ocala) and that team finished one game shy of another final four appearance, falling by just six points at Providence (Jacksonville) in a Class 3A-Region 1 Final.

This past season, P.K. Yonge was district runners-up and finished 14-9, which included a first round Class 3A state playoff win against Bradford (Starke).

Three of his players, including his granddaughter, Taylor, were named to the Bosshardt Realty All Area girls basketball teams for big schools (3A-6A).

Over the course of his career, Powers finished with two state titles, a state runner-up finish, six trips to the final four, was an All Area Coach of the Year and helped develop hundreds of Lady Blue Wave basketball players into college student-athletes, player of the year honorees, and world class citizens.

“Coach Powers has impacted far more teams, athletes, and communities than anyone else and will be imprinted in the record books as one of the most successful girls’ basketball coaches in the area as well as the state,” said Dr. Brian K. Marchman, P.K. Yonge director and superintendent.

P.K. Yonge will recognize his service to Blue Wave Athletics later this month.

He is the winningest head basketball coach in P.K. Yonge girls basketball history.

“I hope I put the program in a better place than what it was when I got there and hopefully I molded these young ladies into strong minded individuals who will succeed in life and not just on the basketball court,” Powers said.

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