Maryellen Powers Set to Lead PBA Cross Country Team as New Head Coach
August 7, 2015
Written by: Michael Brown, Interim Sports Information Director
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.- The Sailfish women’s cross country team will have a new face leading the team this Fall as Maryellen Powers has been selected to take the reins of the Sailfish runners as their new head coach. A veteran coach in endurance athletics, Powers most recently served as the Head Distance Coach at nearby Northwood University.
Powers is no stranger to the necessary physical and mental toughness that it takes to compete as a distance runner as evidenced by her time as a professional triathlete and international competitor.
Her expertise and experience will be a great addition to the Sailfish coaching staff says Director of Athletics, Carolyn Stone.
“We are thrilled to have Maryellen join our staff and lead our women’s cross country team,” said Stone. “Her passion for training young athletes and the plan she has laid out to help them achieve their goals on and off the course made her an obvious choice for our program and we are excited for her to meet her team.”
Coach Powers began her collegiate coaching career at Northwood as she assisted in starting the Seahawks program from scratch. In just two years she helped guide the young program to being competitive at the NAIA level while also taking on additional responsibilities such as planning and directing the Sun Conference Championships.
Before assisting NU with the start of their program Powers was the head cross country and track coach for three South Florida high schools (2007-13) including the University School, American Heritage and Pine Crest Preparatory School. During this time she guided eight top-5 finishes and a combined 13 district and regional champions.
Outside of coaching at the prep and collegiate levels Powers has also owned and operated her own business called System 3 Coaching. This coaching stint has seen her train four Inside Triathlon Master’s All-American selections as well as coach two successful English Channel crossings which is widely considered one of the toughest athletic achievements in the world.
Powers’ time in coaching was preceded by her career as a professional triathlete. From 1995-02 Powers earned top-5 finishes at some of the top triathlon competitions in the world including Ironman Florida and the U.S. Pro Nationals.
She was a four-time USA Triathlon Pro National Team member while even earning the 1995 Inside Triathlon Pro Rookie of the Year. Her 12th place finish at the 1998 Goodwill Games saw her compete with an American best run split of 36:10 for the 10km.
Prior to joining the professional ranks Powers spent four years competing as an amateur after graduating from Boston University with her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. While at BU she was a member of the varsity swimming team.
Powers is married to her husband, Nathaniel Hammond and their nine-year old son, Thomas Powers Hammond with the family residing in Fort Lauderdale.