Together, Susan Powers and Jay Turley bring 55 years of educational and coaching experience to the split duties. The two were named in a unanimous vote of the Hope School Board on July 18.
The co-directors have already worked out a division of responsibilities which allows each of them to maintain the winning traditions of their respective athletics programs while giving attention to the extracurricular and educational competitions and social life of students across the HPSD.
“Basically, anything that happens in the fall, Coach Powers will take care of that, and anything in the spring, I’ll have,” Turley said.
So, while Turley is busy building the momentum of the Hope Bobcat football program in the fall, Powers will oversee the administrative needs for fall sports, along with cheerleading, band, homecoming, and all fall student organization activities and fundraisers.
Conversely, while Powers is coaching the girls’ Bobcat basketball program in the spring, Turley will oversee the administrative needs for spring sports, along with the HHS Prom, band, spring awards banquets and all spring student organization activities and fundraisers.
“You have to be organized, with so many things going on,” Powers said.
Turley agrees that the split should help in making scheduling decisions easier.
“That’s the biggest concern we have is to keep communications to properly schedule events,” he said.
Powers, a Hope High School graduate, comes to the post with 35 years of educational and coaching experience which began at then Yerger Junior High School in 1981.
“Coach Hall called and asked if I’d like to come on board,” she said. “I said, ‘Yes;’ and she did grades 10-12 and I did eight and nine.”
Powers is motivated by the students, she admits.
“I like being around kids; it’s not the win and loss, it’s the improvement and what they carry on from there,” she said.
A graduate of the University of Central Arkansas in Conway, with BSE and MSE degrees in physical education, Powers was a graduate assistant at UCA until she took the girls’ junior track and basketball positions at Yerger. She has since served as senior girls’ and boys’ varsity tennis coach (1982-1985) and assisted with girls’ varsity basketball from 1981-2000, before becoming girls’ head basketball coach from 2001 to date.
Powers is married to Thomas “Tee” Powers of Hope.
Turley is a graduate of Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, with a BSE in secondary education, and he received his MSE in educational leadership from Arkansas State University.
He began his coaching career at Lakeside, as junior high and senior high physical education teacher, and coached varsity football backfield, and junior high girls’ track. He continued to build experience in Denison, Texas, and Fouke, Ar., taking the head football coaching post there, before becoming athletic director and head football coach at Murfreesboro in 2006, where his teams were consistently in the state playoffs.
Turley came to Hope as head football coach in 2010 and has overseen the district’s football program since.
“A lot of people who influenced my life were coaches,” he said. “I wanted to have that kind of influence on kids and inspire them to be whatever they wanted to be.”
Turley has two children, Olivia, 19, and Dylan, 10, and his wife, Monica, is the mother of two children, Zack, 26, and Stephanie, 23. Turley also has two grandchildren, Hudson, 3, and Sicily, 2.