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The Grind: A story of a college sophomore who doubles as a coach

October 15, 2019

“Absolutely nothing in life worth having is going to come easy. I know that if I grind right now the Lord will bless me later in life.” 

-Trae Powell 

14 October 2019 

Coaching is not for the faint of heart, and neither is college. Managing both at the same time? Nearly impossible. But for Allen Academy coach Trae Powell, this is just another day. Trae was raised in East Texas as the oldest of five siblings. He developed a niche for wanting to educate and help people since he was young. Throughout his childhood, Trae developed an interest in sports, particularly at the high school level, from his dad. Trae’s father, Kurt, was a star linebacker for Jasper high school and received offers to compete at the collegiate level, but declined. He found his passion in teaching other young men, like himself, how to play the game of football. Trae spoke on how his father’s passion was the reason he was inspired to follow in his footsteps. He mentioned, “I can remember the days where I would watch film with my dad in the living room and help him scout, it was always the plan for me to be a coach it seemed like”. It was all part of his plan since the beginning, and now Trae is living it. 

Trae’s hiring at Allen Academy was a combination of luck, passion, and determination. Trae had a friend who was already coaching at Allen when he interviewed for the position of assistant coach. Allen was going through a transition phase with athletic directors at the time and there were open spots for hire. However, Trae was still living in East Texas at the time, but committed to moving to Bryan in the hopes that he would have the opportunity to earn the position. Trae was hired on the spot following the interview and after 2 years, now heading into his 3rd, he couldn’t be more content. Trae wants to not only be a coach but an educator too. He has a strong desire to make an impact on the future and it can be noted by, not only his fellow coaches, but his players as well.  

Although his dream is well on its way to becoming reality, it does come with its hardships. Trae spends Monday, Wednesday, and Friday as a substitute teacher at Allen Academy to earn extra income on top of his coaching salary. He substitute teaches from 8:00 A.M. to 2:30 P.M., then it’s off to middle school practice where he coaches from 2:45 P.M. to 4:15, followed by varsity practice at 4:30 P.M. to 6:15 P.M. After about 10 hours substituting and coaching, Trae goes home to study for the following school day. His Tuesday and Thursdays begin with class at 8:00 A.M. sharp and end at 1:00 P.M. Next, he goes home to change for middle school practice followed by varsity practice. Trae spends 10 hours Monday through Friday coaching, substituting, and going to college. So what does he do with all those hours of work? Trae uses that money to pay for his rent, utilities, groceries, gas and finally, college. Some college students also work and go to school, some are on financial aid, some have parents that provide help. When I asked Trae what it was like paying his way through college by coaching he responded by saying that, “absolutely nothing in life worth having is going to come easy. I know that if I grind right now the Lord will bless me later in life.” That is also why Trae doesn’t just coach one sport, or even two. Trae coaches three sports to support himself year-round. While Trae enjoys all three of the sports that he coaches, each for unique reasons, there will always be a special place in his heart for the game of football. That Friday night feeling is difficult to explain, he says, he describes it as “something you just have to experience.” He goes on to say that football had made him into the person he is today. 


The experience that Trae has garnered at Allen Academy will become critical for him after he graduates college. For someone that wants to be a coach like Trae, this experience is invaluable. Trae’s goal is to influence and educate the minds of the future, whether it's in the classroom or on the football field. His passion is unmatched. A sophomore with a strong desire to impact the next generation, Trae is ready for whatever life gives him after college.


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