Loren Powers uses football as a mantra to life


Irene Yuan

Lorem Powers looks at his stopwatch during practice while holding a clipboard in his other hand.

by Vishnu Kannan, Sports Editor

Sitting in a swivel chair in his office in the Harker weight room, new Harker football head coach Loren Powers fondly recalls watching the 49ers as a child and being captivated by “the glitz and glam of the 49ers’ red and gold.” Powers said that watching greatness in motion through the likes of 49ers stars Joe Montana, Steve Young, and Jerry Rice made him enamored with the sport of football at a young age. Growing up in a single-parent family in which his mom was always busy working, Powers was able to connect with the sport and his teammates at a more personal level, establishing bonds with his teammates that he compares to those within a family. 

“Your teammates, who go through all of the ups and downs with you, know you better than some family or friends,” Powers said. “Football is so much more than ‘just running into people’ or ‘being a jock’. Football is family.”

Powers began his football journey by playing flag football in middle school. In high school, he began playing tackle football at St. Bonaventure High School in Ventura, California. During his high school years, St. Bonaventure’s won three CIF championships and one state championship, with Powers playing wide receiver, safety, and linebacker. After graduating high school, Powers was offered a full scholarship to the University of Tulsa but was unable to attend the school because he did not obtain the right GPA or SAT scores to accept the offer. Using “football as the vessel,” Powers was able to refocus his attention back into academics, saying “football helped [him] better [him]self as a student-athlete, not just an athlete.” Then, after completing junior college at Ventura College, Powers continued his playing career at Cal Lutheran University, where he earned academic scholarships based on his grades. Aside from helping him realize the importance of academics, Powers viewed the football as a release from the stress of living in a single parent household, saying that the football field was a place of solitude for him, where his only worry was bettering himself as an athlete.

Because of how rewarding of an experience playing football was for him, Powers was eager to give back and become a coach himself. Inspired by the likes of John Wooden and Bill Walsh, Powers seeks to establish and uphold a standard of performance for his teams.. “My ultimate goal is to build protocols and put resources in place for student athletes to achieve their goals and continue bettering themselves,” he said. Powers acknowledges that coaching requires a good balance between being authoritative and democratic, but he emphasizes the importance of optimism and believes that negativity is not conducive to building someone’s confidence. 

This year, as the head coach of Harker football, Powers hopes instill three key values in his players: character, grit, and integrity. He wants his players to hold themselves to a high standard on and off the football field, and he credits his high school coach for emphasizing to him the importance of establishing and maintaining this standard. Powers views his high school head coach Todd Therrien as a father figure in his life, saying that he wants to be someone whom his players “can count and always come to for advice,” as Therrien was for him. 

At the end of the day, Powers is most focused on keeping everybody safe and offering the best possible experience for his students-athletes. He also hopes to increase the participation in the sport at Harker. Powers feels that many people shy away from football due to safety concerns, but, he believes, by teaching athletes the safe way to tackle and play the sport, the risk is not as bad as it is made out to be. Ultimately, for Powers, what a student-athlete can get out of football is just too invaluable to pass up on. “There’s nothing more rewarding than playing a sport like football because of all the characteristics it instills in you to be someone who can contribute to society, who can be a leader, a great dad, or a wife, etc.” he said.