Co-Founder & CEO

Harold Pearson

Harold Pearson has been SPAAT’s CEO since 2008. He oversees the organization’s strategy. Under his guidance, Bay Area student-athletes have secured millions of dollars in academic and athletic scholarships.

Harold Pearson has been SPAAT’s CEO since 2008. He oversees the organization’s strategy. Under his guidance, Bay Area student-athletes have secured millions of dollars in academic and athletic scholarships.

Harold draws on his own experiences as a highly recruited athlete, community college transfer and a Division 1 football player to address the challenges faced by student-athletes adjusting to life from high-school to collegiate level and beyond.

He has served as assistant commissioner for the CIF Oakland Section and was a partner at a San Francisco litigation-outsourcing firm. A graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, Harold received a BA in Business whilst being a three-year letterman for the California football team.

Harold is an active member of the Western Association of College Admissions Counselors (WACAC), and the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA).

College & Career Advisor, Athletics

Denzale Johnson

Denzale Johnson is a SPAAT alum from the class of 2009. He's responsible for creating college and career plans for middle and high-school students

Denzale Johnson is a SPAAT alum from the class of 2009. He's responsible for creating college and career plans for middle and high-school students. Born and raised in Oakland, he experienced first-hand the reality of struggling communities, the lack of social justice and educational equity.

His upbringing developed his passion for community development and youth empowerment, leading him to become involved in diverse community-based and student organizations in the Bay Area.

Denzale attended the University of California, Berkeley with a full-ride academic scholarship and obtained his BA in public policy and city planning. He worked for UC Berkeley’s Destination College Advising Corp and is also the Head Male Counselor for Upward Bound’s Trio program.

Student-athlete support programs
Head Academic Coach

Michael Peters

Coach Peters has served as a high-school coach, mentor and champion for youth in Oakland, especially at the McClymonds Educational Complex, for over 25 years.

Coach Peters has served as a high-school coach, mentor and champion for youth in Oakland, especially at the McClymonds Educational Complex, for over 25 years. Michael has developed college eligibility criteria that support a student-athlete's holistic academic success. He has assisted over 100 Oakland student-athletes in securing college scholarships through academics and athletics.

Peters was awarded the California Coaching Association State Coach of the Year Award, the 2018 Oakland ESPYS Coach of the Year, 2018 Cal-Hi Sports State Coach of the Year and was a finalist for 2019 National Coach of the year. Coach Peters, is also well-known as the father of All-Pro NFL cornerback and SPAAT alumni, Marcus Peters.

Ring of Champions Advisory Council

The Ring of Champions is a group of passionate and influential sports, community and business leaders committed to
SPAAT’s mission. They support, advocate and consult on initiatives that lead
to real change for youth in Oakland and beyond.

Akintunde Ahmad
SPAAT Alumni & Delacorte Magazine Fellow, Columbia Journalism Review

Lorenzo Alexander
NFL Buffalo Bills, Linebacker

Na’il Benjamin
Managing Partner, Benjamin Law Group

Michael Bobino
Athletes In Touch, CEO

Alonzo Carter
San Jose State, Football Coach & Recruiting Coordinator

Woodie Dixon
General Counsel and CFO, Pac12 Conference

Chris Grant
Pac-12 Network, Vice President

Qiava Harper-Martinez
Oakland Raiders, Vice President, Premium Seating & Service

Adriane Henderson
Kingston 11, Owner

Greg McConnell
The McConnell Group, CEO

Brian McGhee
AAMA, Program Manager

Detra Paige
Oakland Athletics, Director of Alumni Relations

Gary Payton
NBA Hall of Fame Legend

Darryl Stallworth
Law office of Darryl A. Stallworth

Gary Walton
Finance Professional

Kevin Winston
Atlanta Falcons, Sr. Vice President of Player Development

SPAAT Board of Directors

Willie Bogan
Retired Attorney, McKesson

Shomari Carter
Executive Director, OCCUR

Regina Guillory
Retired Government Administrator

Dr. Solomon Hughes
Research Fellow, African American Male Research Initiative, University of Texas

Tasion Kwamilele
Branding & Community Engagement Manager, California Waste Solutions

Harold Pearson
Co-Founder & CEO, SPAAT