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Steve Powell, longtime McCaskey basketball coach, retires after 26 seasons at the helm

LANCASTER — Steve Powell, the long-time boys basketball coach at Lancaster’s J.P. McCaskey High School, has retired after 26 seasons at the Red Tornado helm, according to LNP and LancasterOnline.

Powell has been a member of the McCaskey basketball coaching staff in some capacity since 1972. Before taking over as head coach in 1992, he served as an assistant coach under Pete Horn.

During his time with the Red Tornado, Powell compiled a record of 486-245 — a .656 winning percentage — and guided McCaskey to 11 Lancaster-Lebanon League Section 1 championships, nine L-L League titles, two District 3 championships and two appearances in the PIAA semifinals.

He has also touched the lives of countless Tornado players, serving as a father figure to many.

Powell has been battling health problems, including oral cancer, for several years. He had surgery to remove his tongue in 2014, and has spent the last few seasons communicating with his players via written messages, with assists from his staff of long-time assistant coaches Mike Mitchell, Willie McDowell and Earl “Papa” Boots.

He was honored with a ceremony at a McCaskey Alumni Game a few weeks ago. His wife of 42 years, Gloria Powell, was presented a plaque listed his many accomplishments over time with the Tornado program.