Arkansas Football Coach Makes Impact in Hometown by Supporting Teens

By Jo Napolitano
May 9, 2024

Pine Bluff, Arkansas

The Pine Bluff High School gymnasium was a vibrant scene on a dreary February morning, teeming with colorful balloons, resonating with music and laughter, as students, staff, family, and friends gathered to celebrate the signing of national letters of intent by four college-bound star football players. 

Just a short distance away, a grieving mother mourned the tragic loss of her 16-year-old son, Kendall Burton, a cherished player who had succumbed to gun violence just weeks earlier. 

In a packed gymnasium, the four ecstatic student-athletes expressed their gratitude to a singular individual — a sentiment echoed by the heartbroken mother in her somber apartment: Coach Micheal Williams.

These parallel events starkly illustrate Williams’ dual mission since his return to Pine Bluff — facilitating opportunities for his players to attend college while combating the harsh realities of violence in the area. Data show that twelve individuals aged 10 to 19 were victims of homicide in this town of approximately 40,000 between 2020 and 2022.

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