Derek Powers rejoined the Morrisville State College athletic department staff in the fall of 2008 as head coach of the men’s and women’s cross country program, and enters his 20th season overall at the helm of the Mustang program in the fall 2017.
The 2015 season brought Morrisville State within reach of the top of the North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) rankings, as the women combined for a second place overall finish at the championships out of 12 conference teams, placing two in the top 10 while four earned All-Conference recognition.
Powers coached rookie Raylene Wade to an NCAA Mid-East Regional Championship appearance, where the freshman finished 129th out of the field of 365 competitors in the 6K event.
Off the course, Powers' team remains one of the top performing academic programs at Morrisville State, earning recognition from the USTFCCCA with an All-Academic Team award as the women compiled a 3.53 team GPA.
Success started for the Mustangs in 2013, as Powers guided the women's team to their most successful season since transitioning to the NCAA in 2006. The Mustangs finished as conference runner-ups and placed three among the all-conference teams. Powers also coached lead runner Billie Jo Hinds to a record breaking season, and the first individual conference title for the Mustangs in NEAC history. Likewise, his efforts on the courses this season garnered him 2013 Coach of the Year recognition, as elected by his peers. Since that time, the women have finished as one of the top three teams in the conference.
Under Powers, several student-athletes have earned recognition for excellence in the classroom as well, with four alone from this year's squad earning NEAC Scholar-Athlete accolades. For the second year straight, Powers also had one named a 2013-14 SUNY Chancellor's Scholar-Athlete in Billie Jo Hinds.
Reinstated after a two-year absence in the fall 2008, within a short time, Morrisville State was one of the top competing teams within the NEAC. In 2009, the women's team finished third overall in the conference, and had three earn all-Conference team honors.
In 2012, Powers coached the men's team to a second place finish at the conference championships, and had seven overall runners earn all-Conference accolades, including Amanda Hunt who was named a SUNY Chancellor's Scholar-Athlete in 2012-13.
Repeating top five place finish honors in 2010, the men's team also joined the top of the NEAC competitors, placing third overall in 2011, with three earning all-conference honors.
In each of nine seasons of competition at the NJCAA level, Powers has coached the men’s and women’s teams at Morrisville State to appearances in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Championship meet.
For two straight seasons, Powers coached the women’s team to a fourth place finish at the National Championships. In 2003 both the men’s and women’s teams placed fourth overall, with five earning All-American honors.
In all, Powers has produced several NJCAA All-Americans and several Academic All-Region and All-American selections.
The 2001 NJCAA National Coach of the Year is a 1995 graduate of Morrisville State College where he served as captain for two seasons on the men’s cross country and track and field teams.
Powers began his coaching career in 1997 as head coach of the cross country program at Morrisville and assistant coach of the distance track team. He continues to run competitively and has established himself as one of the top ranked distance runners in Upstate New York.