PINE BLUFF, Ark. – Pine Bluff head football coach, Micheal Williams, changed the football practice schedule to make sure that students excel in sports and academically throughout the year.

Micheal Williams graduated from Pine Bluff High School and decided this summer to come back home to coach football.

He said something that stuck out to him about the program, was the kid’s grades.  

“I said, I am going to come back and I am going to tackle the main things that keep our kids from going D1. We have special athletes here, but they just don’t get that opportunity because of their grades,” stated Williams.

So Monday he implemented a new practice schedule… early morning practice before school and after-school, a tutoring and study hall session.

“This is how college ball really is and you have the tutoring process and then you go to team meetings at night, you eat, snack time and you go to bed. This is exactly how it is,” stated Williams.

Something he used at his last coaching job.

“Their GPA was excellent. I think probably maybe one or two players that probably had a 3.0,” said Williams.

Students said they are actually excited about the change.

“I feel like it’s a great help to students so that they can stay on top of their grades and make sure their GPA is up and help get ACT prep so that everybody can have their fair chance to get a scholarship to the school they choose,” said football player, Will Howell.

Will Howell is the senior quarterback and he is glad education is becoming a focus.

“Education is a big part of our life and we just need to keep getting young men into the education and stop, it’s not all about the sports,” stated Howell.

Senior wide receiver, Blake Hegwood, said the coach has taught him skills he will take with him for life.

“I am going to go very far because of coach,” said Hegwood.

Coach Williams hopes to be an example for other schools in the state.

Williams said, “everybody can’t win the state championship, so what else are you doing? are you growing your kids? are you letting your kids go to tutoring? are you making they are good citizens in the world?”