Charlie Powell Begins Retirement and Ends His Successful Coaching Career at SPIRE


June 1st will be a bittersweet day for international track and field legend Charlie Powell as he starts his retirement from SPIRE Institute and Academy (IA). Charlie has been SPIRE’s Director of Track and Field since joining the athletic academy in 2011.

Charlie is closing this chapter of his career after many decades of playing, training and coaching track and field athletes. He began by competing at Trumbull High School in Connecticut, moving on to Virginia Tech and Western Kentucky University. He began his coaching career with Western Kentucky University before coaching at the University of Delaware and the University of Pennsylvania.

Charlie has trained many successful track and field athletes, including two NCAA individual Champions, 60 individual NCAA Championship Qualifiers, Multiple Olympians, 18 NCAA All-Americans, one Pan Am Champion, over 100 individual Conference Champions and another 100 All-East Athletes, two NCAA Post Graduate Scholarship recipients, Canadian and Australian National Champions, two Thouron Scholars and over 50 Academic All-Ivy Team Recipients. His athletes set 21 indoor school records, 22 outdoor school records and 15 conference records.

In 2001, Powell was selected as the Mondo Mid-Atlantic Coach of the Year by his peers from the United States Track Coaches Association and served on the Olympic Development Committee from 1998 to 2010.

At SPIRE, Charlie will be remembered for his unique approach to training future athletes at what he considers one of the best track and field complexes in the world. Charlie’s coaching and training regimens were a blend of technical training, alongside intensive athletic development, not just physically, but mentally. Charlie explains, “We offer a track and field program here that allows all athletes to revitalize and rethink the road to success.”  

Charlie will be missed by his peers and his students alike. Jeff Orloff, SPIRE’s Chief Operating Officer, recently said, “It’s an honor and privilege to have worked with Charlie all of these years.  His kindness, professionalism, intelligence, experience and depth of knowledge are second to none.” Jeff goes on to explain, “Charlie is known throughout the track and field world as the gold standard, and SPIRE has been lucky to have such a wonderful human being and master of his craft on our team for all these years. SPIRE would not be where it is today without Charlie’s contributions.” 

Tim Mack, SPIRE’s Director of Track and Field Development, agrees with Jeff. “Having worked with Charlie and learned from him for over a year, it is without question that he will be extremely missed by many,” Tim said. “Charlie has contributed so much to the world of track and field in the USA. He has developed thousands of relationships, trained so many athletes and changed the direction of many peoples’ lives and the direction of many track and field programs. I am thankful to have had the chance to work with Charlie, but I am also thankful to look up to him as a mentor.”

Charlie Powell will continue his association with SPIRE as its newest Director Emeritus, continuing to provide valuable and strategic guidance in an advisory role. During retirement, Charlie plans to enjoy his free time with his family.

Charlie is looking forward to the next stage in his life but will miss working with SPIRE students.  “I really enjoyed extending my time working with young student athletes within track and field.”

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