David Powless’ high school football team was the undefeated Illinois State Champions of 1960. He was an All State offensive tackle. He received college football scholarship offers. He chose the Oklahoma University (OU). He left OU as a sophomore and went to the University of Illinois and played offensive guard on the University of Illinois Big 10 and Rose Bowl Championship team in 1964.
In 1965 as a graduating senior he was drafted in the National Football League (NFL) by the New York Giants and also by the American Football League (AFL) by the Kansas Chiefs. He was with the New York Giants one year and then went to the Washington Redskins his second year. That year he had a spinal injury requiring surgery that ended his football career.
Powless worked for Native American tribes including his Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin. He also owned several personal businesses. His expertise was in economic development. In 1983 he received an award in the “White House Rose Garden” from Vice President of the United States George Bush for the development of recycling technology. In 2008 he was inducted into the American Indian Athletic Hall of Fame for his athletic contributions.