Former DeKalb football coach returns home

Georgia Prep Sports Academy founder Michael Carson, right, speaks with parents about the academy. Photos by Carla Parker

GPSA moves to DeKalb County


Former M.L. King and Avondale High School football coach Michael Carson is back in DeKalb County along with his Georgia Prep Sports Academy.

The academy has moved from downtown Atlanta to a 35,000-square-foot building on Snapfinger Woods Drive in Decatur. Georgia Prep Sports Academy is a post-high school graduate program that is designed to help athletes who didn’t meet the requirements for college, get athletic scholarships.

Students began moving into the facility on July 1. Carson, who founded the academy in 2013, said the reason behind the move was he was looking for a place that the program could call its own.

“We’ve paid rent over the last three years, paid a lot of money out and really didn’t have anything to show for it,” Carson said. “We had an opportunity to come back to DeKalb County. This building, we’re lease-purchasing it for $250,000 less than what we were paying to house our kids. We were in a perfect position to come back here and start the program here in DeKalb.”

Carson said also that it was important for him to bring the program to DeKalb.

The 35,000-square-foot building includes a lounge/game room.
The 35,000-square-foot building includes a lounge/game room.

“We get kids from all over the country for the most part, but this year we got seven to eight kids from DeKalb County,” he said. “With my roots in DeKalb—being the head coach at MLK and Avondale—it made perfect sense to really try to come back here and establish our program here to help student athletes here in DeKalb County that are falling short academically and not able to move on to a college program. Hopefully we can provide this platform to where they can come into and focus on whatever academic deficiencies they may have whether it be a poor GPA or test scores. They can get that done here within a one semester format and then be on a college campus in January.”The two-story building features classrooms, a cafeteria, lounge/game room, weight room, dorm rooms and more.

“We’re not done yet,” Carson said. “We just got our flooring in for our weight room; hopefully the weights will be in next week. Then we’re going to look at adding an outdoor field as well as an indoor 80-yard field in the back of the building. We definitely have our hopes high. Hopefully we can bring all of this to fruition.”


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