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Dave Powers Dave Powers
Inducted: 2008 - Graduated: 1976




At Nanuet, Dave Powers participated in soccer, basketball and spring track. But it’s safe to say his athletic accomplishments are not the reason he’s being honored by the Nanuet Hall of Fame. In fact, being an athlete of modest ability has helped shape a coaching philosophy and career that has indeed been Hall of Fame caliber.


“I was never the greatest athlete,” says Dave, who joins his sister Norinne in the Knights’ pantheon of fame. “On some teams I started and other times I sat the bench. I think it helped me become a better coach than someone who was a star. I had to figure out ways to learn things if I didn’t pick it up right away. I came to realize the importance of everybody on the team, that everybody would make a contribution.”


One trademark of a good coach is the ability to get the most out of players – finding out what makes each one tick and adapting your approach accordingly. For more than 25 years Dave has been a master at this, taking athletes of all ability levels and molding them into ultra-successful teams.


Dave completed his coaching tenure at Nanuet in 1997 with the fourth-highest career victory totals among Rockland coaches in girls’ basketball and girls’ soccer. As the Golden Knights’ head girls’ basketball coach from 1983 to 1997, he posted a superb won-lost record of 203-91, a .692 winning percentage. His hoop teams won five league titles, were Section 1 runners-up four times, won 20 games four times, were state-ranked five times and reached the New York State quarterfinals twice. Dave was also Rockland County Coach of the Year three times.


As girls’ soccer coach from 1987-97, Dave racked up 128 victories, along with just 44 losses and 18 ties. He won six Section 1 titles and two league crowns, had four Sectional runner-up finishes and three League Coach of the Year citations, and led the Knights to the New York State quarterfinals in 1988. He also was assistant track coach for four years and meet director of the Nanuet Relays from 1985-90.


In 2007, Dave received one of the highest honors a scholastic coach can achieve by earning induction into the New York State Basketball Hall of Fame. The accolade recognized Dave’s quarter-century of excellence and dedication to the sport, including his outstanding tenure at Nanuet; stints at the Empire State Games as scholastic women’s head coach and open women’s assistant; numerous clinics and camps he has led or participated in; and his continued on-court success, first at Immaculate Heart Academy and currently at Tuxedo High School.


At IHA in Washington Township, N.J., Dave’s teams went 40-14 over two seasons, and were state Parochial A finalists in 1999 and semifinalists in ’98. In seven seasons at Tuxedo, Dave has compiled an impressive 128-35 mark with three Section 9 championships, seven league titles, a trip to the state Class C semifinals in 2001-02 and to the quarterfinals in 2002-03. His combined record over 23 seasons at Nanuet, IHA and Tuxedo is 371 wins and only 140 losses, a stellar .726 winning percentage.


And let’s not forget his ongoing prosperity in soccer. Now in his eighth year as boys’ soccer coach at Tuxedo, Dave amassed a 69-38-1 record through his first seven years with four league championships and three trips to the Section 9 Class C title game. Before that, Dave took a Ramapo girls’ soccer team that had been winless for three years prior to his arrival and led them to their first Sectional appearance ever and a school record for most wins in a season with seven.


Dave’s coaching philosophy synthesizes the ideas and styles of several influential coaches from his playing days. His first mentor was his dad, William, who coached Dave in the Nanuet Little League and espoused an enlightened approach of allowing every member of the team to play. From the late Bob West, Dave’s soccer coach at Nanuet and later his assistant, he learned “to get people to play with emotion, and let them know that if they have fun and relax, good things will happen.”


From Gerry Stopyra, his JV basketball coach, Dave grasped the importance of intensity, “playing till you’re ready to drop.” Jerry Bonomolo, the Knights’ longtime varsity basketball coach, conveyed an unmistakable passion to his players and a tension-defusing sense of humor. Finally, from track coach Dave Hanson, who hired Dave in ’83 when Hanson was athletic director, Dave learned the value of thorough preparation – “detail, detail, detail” – and tailoring the motivational technique to the individual athlete.


Dave has special memories of the athletes he coached at Nanuet, from headliners like basketball and soccer star Margie Sahlstrom, a 2006 Hall of Fame inductee, and hoop stalwart Samantha Ginsburg, to others like Laurie Annunziato, Kelly Hutmacher, Lorraine Kiernan, Lynn Weigang, Tina Anemone, Liz Pandolfi, Jodi Coatti and Laura DeVincentis, among many others.


“I was fortunate that I had great kids to work with,” says Dave, who coached 17 Nanuet athletes who went on to play college basketball, some in Division I. “We had some talented athletes who were legitimate stars, but also the middle rung athletes, good but not great players who would rise to the occasion. I was proud of being able to get the most out of all those players, having them always play hard, make their own breaks.”


Dave feels privileged to be joining his sister Norinne, an inaugural inductee in 2002. He coached Norinne on the basketball and soccer teams and considers her one of the top five athletes, male or female, in Nanuet history. (Dave is one of six Powers siblings, along with Ken, Regina, Marta, Mary Karin and Norinne.) He also lavished kudos on his assistant coaches – Bob West and Sean Barron in soccer, Pat Mitchell in basketball – as well as former boys’ basketball and soccer coach Ralph Rogo, a trusted confidant.


Dave, who turned 50 in the summer, has been an educator since graduating from Marist College in 1980. He taught in the Nanuet Public Schools for 20 years and in his seventh year as a special education teacher at Tuxedo High School. Dave and his wife, Anne,