A veteran of the Atlantic Coast Conference, Andre Powell is in his third season with Maryland. Powell oversees the Terrapin running backs. He also assumed the duties of special teams coordinator in February 2012.
After ranking as one of the top special teams units in the country last season, Powell’s unit continued the trend in 2013 led by freshman William Likely. Likely ranked third in the ACC in kickoff returns (26.0 ypr) and fourth in punt returns (12.8 ypr). Likely scored his first collegiate touchdown on a 63-yard punt return against Virginia Tech en route to earning ACC Rookie of the Week honors.
In 2012, Powell started four different running backs. Redshirt freshman Brandon Ross set career-highs rushing for at least 100 yards in two of the final three games, including 141 yards in the final contest at North Carolina.
Powell also oversaw an explosive special teams unit. Under Powell’s direction, true freshman Stefon Diggs excelled as one of the most dynamic returners in the conference. Diggs totaled 1,896 all-purpose yards, which is the second-highest single-season total in school history and the most by a freshmen. His 172.4 all-purpose yards per game ranked second in the ACC. He scored touchdowns receiving, on kickoff returns and throwing. On the season he was named ACC Rookie of the Week three times and Specialist of the Week twice. He finished second in the voting for ACC Offensive Rookie of the Year by the coaches and was named a second-team specialist.
Powell came to Maryland after spending the previous four seasons at Clemson where he coached running backs and coordinated the special teams his final three years.
With over 20 years of experience coaching college football, Powell is making his fourth stop in the ACC. In addition to his four seasons with the Tigers, Powell coached at Virginia (1996-2000) and North Carolina (2001-06).
At Clemson, he coached unanimous first-team All-American running back and return specialist C.J. Spiller, helping him become the No. 9 overall selection of the Buffalo Bills in the 2010 NFL Draft. Spiller was the ACC Player of the Year in 2009 and finished his career No. 2 in NCAA FBS history in all-purpose running.
Spiller ranked in the top 15 in the FBS in kickoff returns in each of his final three years (2007-09) and became the first running back in ACC history with 1,000 rushing yards and 500 receiving yards in the same season (2009). He also set the FBS record for career kickoff returns for touchdowns (seven) and tied the record for total kick returns for a score (eight).
Powell also tutored All-ACC running back James Davis in 2007 and 2008, who along with Spiller, is among the top three rushers in Clemson history.
Along with the success of his running backs, Powell oversaw a kickoff-return unit that finished in the top 25 nationally his first three seasons and in the top 40 in 2010. In 2009, the Tigers ranked seventh in the country in punt returns, including a pair of touchdowns. In addition, Clemson was 113th in the nation in kickoff return yardage defense the year before Powell arrived in Death Valley. The first year he took over the unit (2008) the Tigers were No. 47 nationally and the following season they reached No. 24 in the country.
That success translated to consistent winning as the Tigers went to a bowl game every year Powell was at Clemson and finished in the top 25 of the final AP poll in 2007 and 2009.
While at North Carolina, Powell coached a future NFL standout in running back Willie Parker, as well as Ronnie McGill, who finished his career 10th in school history with 2,393 rushing yards. Powell also coached special teams his final three seasons at UNC. He steered the Tar Heels’ kickoff return unit to a No. 7 national ranking in 2005 and second in the ACC in 2006.
Prior to his time at North Carolina, Powell spent five seasons with the Cavaliers where he coached the running backs in 1996, the wide receivers from 1997-99 and the running backs again in 2000. At Virginia, he tutored future NFL players Tiki Barber, Germaine Crowell, Thomas Jones, Charles Kirby, Pat Washington and Terrence Wilkins.
Powell also had two different stints as an assistant coach at Army (1991, 95), along with graduate assistant positions at Indiana (1989) and South Carolina (1990). He coached running backs for the first time at Virginia Military Institute (1992) and spent two seasons (1993-94) coaching the same unit at Rhode Island.
A native of Lockhart, S.C., Powell played two seasons at Lees-McRae (1984-85) prior to earning two letters at Indiana where he was a member of two bowl teams (1986 All-American; 1988 Peach Bowl). He earned Indiana’s Most Improved Player award during his senior season and was the lead blocker for 1,000-yard rusher Anthony Thompson that season.
Powell earned a bachelor’s of science degree in health, physical education & recreation from Indiana in 1989. He and his wife Joann have a son, Andre II, and two daughters, Alayna and Mikala.
The Powell File
Date of Birth: September 29, 1966
• Primary: Virginia - Danville, Lynchburg, Martinsville and Roanoke, as well as Southwestern Virginia, Indianapolis and Southwest Florida