Former NFL player influences Tulsa students through coaching

Former football coach transforming lives as coach at Tulsa school

Tulsa, Okla. — Tulsa McLain High School head football coach, Willie Ponder, is having a life-changing influence on his student athletes.

Ponder, a Tulsa native and former NFL wide receiver, returned to Tulsa to inspire teens—many of whom come from broken families and struggle with daily needs—to believe they can graduate and do great things in their lives.

In his second year at McLain, Ponder has already become a father figure to a lot of his students and has given seed money for a new booster club to help teens with a wide range of needs, from athletic gear, to transportation, to food when they have little at home.

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Ponder is passionate about the importance of funding high school athletics, especially in low-income areas where it may be the single most important factor in keeping teens in school.