Beyond the Bucket Hat
Tom Powers wears a lot of hats on the Country Day campus. From calling football games, track meets, and other athletic events to mowing the lawns to coaching middle school football and even becoming the self-proclaimed "Country Day Athletics Historian" – you will find Tom all over campus.
We sat down with Tom Powers, sporting his signature blue bucket-style cap, to discuss his unique journey at Country Day and how he keeps all his hats straight.
When did you start working at Country Day?
That's an interesting question. I've been familiar with this campus since 1973 because I went to Summit Country Day, so I played football and basketball in these gyms. I'm actually in some of the old yearbooks (it's true, he is, we have the proof). But back in 2006, when I was at Xavier, getting my master's in secondary education and my teaching license, I did some observing and substitute teaching here. And I knew Hirsch [Theresa Hirschauer, head of the middle school] and Greg Ross from my days working at Summit as an assistant athletic director in the early 2000s. Hirsch hired me to be the girls middle school softball coach in 2008. That was my first job here. But then I left. Fast forward to about a year ago, I realized I missed coaching so I reached out to Coach [Dennis] Coyle to see if there was anything I could do here and I've jumped right back in.
So, you're coaching football, broadcasting, and you’re part of the facilities team. What's a typical day for you?
Is there such a thing as a typical day? I work from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in my facilities position – mowing, cleaning up, and directing carline. Then it just depends on the athletics calendar. I helped coach the varsity football team in the fall, so I was headed to practice right after school. Now, I call games and meets for spring sports. For example, if we have a track meet, I'll get here at 7 a.m., work facilities till 3:30 p.m., and then call the track meet till about 9:15 p.m. Then I'm done with my day.
Wow. That's a long day.
It is but I love it. When I was here briefly back in the 2000s, I worked in the athletic department, supervising events, taking tickets, whatever they needed. It's easy to give so much of yourself to a place like this. There's a general sense of community and niceness here. There's a reason people stay here for 30-plus years. There's a reason I came back. It's an excellent place to work. People treat people with respect here. Even the students. I had only been here a week or so, and students are opening doors for me, looking me in the eyes, asking me how I'm doing; they don't know me, but they talk to me. It doesn't get any better than that.
You do a lot here. So, as your "first" year wraps up, what's been the best part about being back here?
Oh, that's easy. Coaching football for sure; that's what it's all about, right? The kids. I'm here to do whatever it takes to help build the program and make it successful. And the thing that I enjoyed about football last year was seeing the team's development. The guys I met at the first practice in early August were different from the guys who left the field in December. And that's what I enjoy – seeing the team mature, when they start to get it and understand what it's going to take to do what it takes every year. I think we have the tools, the players, and the coaches to make progress year by year. And that's what's exciting. I enjoy being involved in this athletic program and helping these students succeed. I don't care whether it's a big part as a coach or a small role as person who gets the field ready. If there's something I can do to help, all people have to do is ask.