AUP's Ron Davis leading the way for Atlanta Plan at Clark Atlanta University
ATLANTA- During Black History Month 2010, ESPN will be honoring 13 individuals who operate at colleges and universities across the country whose work will benefit the African-American community at large, either now or in the future. The featured profiles will be aired during ESPN's upcoming college basketball telecasts. One of the segments being put together by ESPN producer Barry Abrams will highlight the Atlanta Plan led by track & field's Ron Davis and Mike Spino.

Davis is a long time member of AUP dating back to 1984 when he worked with former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young to bring the pre-Olympic training center to Atlanta for the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. The training center served 12 countries and 85 athletes. Today, Ron and Mike Spino have teamed up to develop the Atlanta Plan at Clark Atlanta University to help

improve the institution’s public profile through media exposure locally, nationally and internationally while helping to increase student enrollment for Clark Atlanta University. "Our goal is to put a program in place to help preserve the legacy of the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games through economic development, high level sports training and international goodwill," says co-director Ron Davis. Since April 2009, Davis and Spino have gained the support of Clark Atlanta University's president Dr. Carlton Brown and US Ambassador Andrew Young for the project. Davis, a former NCAA track & field coach has also coached and trained runners in 11 countries that include the Congo, Mauritius, Mozambique, Nigeria, and Tanzania. In 1992, Davis founded the "I Train in LaGrange" program in LaGrange, Georgia that brought over 500 athletes from 42 nations to Georgia before the 1996 Olympic Games. The program became the largest pre Olympic training camp in the entire history of the Olympic Games.

Mike Spino, director of the 1984 pre-Olympic training center in Atlanta, has served as head cross country and track and field coach at Georgia Tech and Life University in Marieta Georgia. Spino was the director at Kenneaw State University for the UN national conference on sports for development and peace. Presently, he is the founder and master coach of Run into Spirit ( which trains coaches to upgrade cardio fitness programs for recreational athletes. Mike also helped develop the new track & field program at San Francisco's Academy of Arts University in 2008.

Co-directors Ron Davis and Mike Spino have assembled a powerful advisory group to help them move the Atlanta Plan forward into 2010. The list working to lend expertise and support for the project includes Olympic gold medalists Dr. Edwin Moses, Lee Evans and John Carlos, Dr. Richard Lapchick (University of Central Florida), Arif Khatib (African American Ethnic Sports Hall of Fame), Olympian Dr. Mike Boit, Nichelle Gainey (Silverstone International LLC), and AUP board members Dr. Phil Shinnick and David Meggeyesy. In addition to the work with the Atlanta Plan, the advisory group is also building connections and working closely with the organizing group in Mozambique, Africa for the upcoming 2011 All Africa Games in Maputo.

"We're really looking forward to the Atlanta Plan being the American gateway for increasing the participation of Africa in U.S. higher education and track and field endeavors," comments Ron Davis. "Our work with Phil Shinnick, David Meggyesy and the Athletes United for Peace team is going to be a big plus for our project."