Giving back: Willie Pile walks the walk


Going from a stand-out student to a businessman and international football player seems like a huge change. However, the Willie Pile who graduated from West Potomac High School in 1998 and the man who has come back to impact his community are one in the same.

Pile graduated from West Potomac in 1998 and went on to become a star and a leader on Virginia Techs legendary defense. While in high school and in college, Pile not only excelled on the field but in the classroom and in his community. As a part of a class project, he became a high school hospital escort and it taught him the difference time could make. I wasnt giving them anything but my time and attention and it made a difference.

While at Virginia Tech, in order to fulfill a requirement of his minor, Pile was assigned to mentor a local elementary school student. However, this mentorship quickly evolved into Pile adopting the entire class. He kept in touch with these students and monitored their progress long after his assignment had been completed.

In 2003, Pile was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs. He quickly earned a reputation as the community relations go-to guy. Whenever anyone needed a player to come talk at a school or a function, I was the one they called and I would go. Pile realized that he had a message to share. I wanted to be able to be a positive influence and help kids set goals. I am not at the pinnacle of success but I know there is a method and certain principles I had to follow to get where I am today. The Pile Group was founded in Kansas City in order to create more opportunities for Pile to get his message out there.

I started the Pile Group so that people could come straight to me and I can talk to groups to try to impact them. I want to be able to teach people how to not just set goals but also achieve them. Piles message was well received and he started speaking in more and more places. I was speaking in so many places and I wanted to have a set message that I could give over and over again. The key is to also make it easy for kids to retain the message. When I thought about all of this I said, I can write a book. This is how The Winning Game Plan: An ABC Guide to Success, was born. To Pile, the first step to success is a game plan.