Powell out as women's coach at Morgan St. Eight-season stint ends as turnover continues

March 06, 1996|By Roch Eric Kubatko | Roch Eric Kubatko,SUN STAFF

Another change is taking place in Morgan State's athletic department, this time involving the women's basketball program.

Coach Anderson Powell said he was about to meet with his players Monday night when he was summoned to the office of Rick Perry, the university's vice president of student affairs.

"I was told they wanted to go in another direction," said Powell, a 1976 graduate of Morgan State who was 82-180 in eight seasons. "I had a good run here, and I thank Morgan. There are no hard feelings. I have no real regrets, though I think I could have turned it around."

Powell, 43, said he believes the university wants to bring in a female coach. "That rumor's been flying for a long time," he said.

Tanya Rush, the acting athletic director, would say only that Powell had resigned. Perry was unavailable for comment.

Since early August, Morgan State has hired Chris Fuller as men's basketball coach, Stump Mitchell as football coach and Garnett H. Purnell as athletic director (his contract becomes effective next Wednesday). Also, wrestling coach James Phillips resigned last month.

Phillips and Powell were the only Morgan State coaches being paid just as instructors.

"I coached without being being paid and did it gladly," Powell said. "I thought I was loyal, but I was told once at Virginia State that rewards come in heaven."

Powell, who said he also coached at Virginia State, Norfolk State and Fayetteville State without receiving additional pay, was suspended for all of last season while an internal investigation took place for alleged recruiting violations. He was reinstated before this season, but the women's basketball team was among the programs placed on three years' probation by the NCAA.

Donald Williams, a former assistant coach for the Hagerstown Junior College men's basketball team, was 5-21 as Powell's replacement. Morgan State went 5-20 this season and has won 14 of its past 64 games.

Junior guard Kaira Warfield said she was "kind of shocked" when told by Powell that he would not return. "I expected him to be around for my senior year, since he brought me here," she said.

"It's going to take us some time, with all the changes we've had here, to get used to a new coach and new ways. I hope he'll be around next year to support us. He'll be missed by all the players. He was a loved coach, very easy to get along with."

Pub Date: 3/06/96

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