Steve “Bird” Powell is the all-time winningest boys’ basketball coach in Lancaster-Lebanon League history, amassing a career record of 468-245 (.656 winning percentage) in 26 seasons as McCaskey High School’s head coach.
Powell joined the basketball staff at McCaskey in 1972 as a loyal assistant to Pete Horn for 21 seasons before taking over as the head coach for 1993-94 season. Along the way, Powell’s teams won:
- Eleven L-L League Section One crowns (’96, ’00, ’01, ’02, ’03, ’06, ’07, ’08, ’11, ’13, ’16.
- Nine L-L League championships (’01, ’02, ’05, ’06, ’07, ’08, ’12, ’13, ’16)
- Two PIAA District Three big-school titles (2000 and 2002).
- Advanced to PIAA big school semifinals in 2002 and 2015.
He used his own money to provide meals for players after games, he used his own money to provide new uniforms, sneakers and warmups to all players. Powell paid for basketball camps, academic tutoring and used his connections to help get players summer jobs.
Coaching with the same courage and determination he taught his players. Powell coached from 2014 to 2018 will battling oral cancer which took away his ability to eat solid foods and talk. Coach Powell told people the best way to battle cancer “don’t think about yourself but think about the people that love and care about you”.
Steve was a graduate of Chester High School, a two-year starter and captain of the 1968 team. While earning his degree at Millersville State College as a scholar-athlete, Bird was a three-year starter and was named All Eastern Collegiate Athletic (ECAC) and won the Ainsworth Award as team MVP in 1971-72.
Coach Powell was inducted into the Susquehanna Sports Hall of Fame in 2016, the Millersville University Sports Hall of Fame in 2006 and the Chester High Hall of Fame.