Eddie Robinson
File:Eddie Robinson.jpg
Sport(s)Football
Biographical details
Born(1919-02-13)February 13, 1919
Jackson, Louisiana
DiedApril 3, 2007(2007-04-03) (aged 88)
Ruston, Louisiana
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1941–1998Grambling
Head coaching record
Overall408–165–15
Statistics
College Football Data Warehouse
College Football Hall of Fame
Inducted in 1997 (profile)

Edward Gay Robinson (February 13, 1919 – April 3, 2007) was an American football coach. He is the second winningest coach in NCAA Division I football. For 57 years from 1941 to 1997, he was the head coach at Grambling State University, a historically black university in Louisiana. Robinson was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1997.

Biography[edit | edit source]

Robinson was born in Jackson in East Feliciana Parish, Louisiana, to the son of a sharecropper and a domestic worker. He went on to graduate from McKinley Senior High School in Baton Rouge in 1937. He went on to earn his bachelor's degree from Leland College in Baker in East Baton Rouge Parish, then went on to obtain his Master's degree from the University of Iowa in Iowa City in 1954. Robinson is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity.

Career[edit | edit source]

File:Eddie G. Robinson Museum IMG 3650.JPG

Eddie G. Robinson Museum on the campus of Grambling State University

Robinson spent 56 years as the head coach at historically black Grambling State University in Grambling in Lincoln Parish in northern Louisiana beginning in 1941 when he was hired by college president and head baseball coach, Ralph Waldo Emerson Jones.

Robinson is second in overall college football wins, behind John Gagliardi (Division III St. John's University) (Robinson was formerly also behind Joe Paterno until the NCAA vacated 111 of Paterno's victories). More than 200 of his players went on to play in the American Football League, CFL, and NFL. Robinson coached three American Football League players who would later be inducted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame: the Kansas City Chiefs' Buck Buchanan; the Oakland Raiders' Willie Brown; and the Houston Oilers' Charlie Joiner. Robinson also coached James Harris, who with the AFL's Buffalo Bills became the first black quarterback in modern Pro Football history to start at that position in a season opener. He also coached Packers defensive end and Hall of Famer Willie Davis and the Super Bowl XXII MVP, Redskins quarterback Doug Williams, who would ultimately succeed Robinson as Grambling's head coach in 1998.

During his coaching career, Robinson compiled 45 winning seasons, including winning or sharing 17 Southwestern Athletic Conference championships and nine black college football national championships.[1]

While at Grambling, Eddie Robinson held several jobs other than football coach, including teaching at Grambling High School, and coaching the girls' basketball team during World War II. His girls team lost the state championship by 1 point. He also coached boys' basketball, baseball, directed band and was in charge of the cheerleaders, with a budget of $46.

Robinson recorded just one losing season between 1960 and 1990; however, after three consecutive losing seasons in the mid-1990s, pressure mounted for the now 78-year old coach to resign. In 1997, news escaped that Grambling was planning to dismiss him in mid-season. Public outcry — including condemnation from Louisiana elected officials — led Grambling to retain Robinson's services through the remainder of the season.

Robinson was the 1992 winner of the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Award, which was established to honor the NCAA Division 1 football coach whose team excels on the field, in the classroom, and in the community. The award is named for Bobby Dodd, longtime head football coach of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. The award was established in 1976 to honor the values that Dodd exemplified.[2]

Robinson developed Alzheimer's Disease after his retirement and died on April 3, 2007, at Lincoln General Hospital in Ruston, Louisiana, after being admitted earlier in the day.[3]

Coaching career[edit | edit source]

Year Team W L T Pct. PF PA
1941* Grambling 3 5 0 .375 18 47
1942* Grambling 9 0 0 1.000 93 0
1945* Grambling 10 2 0 .833 214 65
1946* Grambling 6 6 0 .500 174 145
1947* Grambling 9 2 0 .818 245 64
1948* Grambling 8 3 0 .727 289 110
1949 Grambling 7 3 2 .667 234 95
1950 Grambling 5 3 1 .611 160 156
1951 Grambling 3 5 1 .389 147 154
1952 Grambling 7 3 1 .682 208 184
1953 Grambling 8 2 0 .800 246 88
1954 Grambling 4 3 2 .556 206 140
1955 Grambling 10 0 0 1.000 330 54
1956 Grambling 8 1 0 .889 312 97
1957 Grambling 4 4 0 .500 212 187
1958 Grambling 6 3 0 .667 238 132
1959 Grambling 4 6 0 .400 268 145
1960 Grambling 9 1 0 .900 417 78
1961 Grambling 8 2 0 .800 375 110
1962 Grambling 6 2 2 .700 281 144
1963 Grambling 5 3 1 .611 249 151
1964 Grambling 9 2 0 .818 314 181
1965 Grambling 8 3 0 .727 352 195
1966 Grambling 6 2 1 .722 267 199
1967 Grambling 9 1 0 .900 318 145
1968 Grambling 9 2 0 .818 314 201
1969 Grambling 6 4 0 .600 324 196
1970 Grambling 9 2 0 .818 384 183
1971 Grambling 9 2 0 .818 341 147
1972 Grambling 11 2 0 .846 347 123
1973 Grambling 10 3 0 .769 340 176
1974 Grambling 11 1 0 .917 308 120
1975 Grambling 10 1 0 .909 324 153
1976 Grambling 8 3 0 .727 313 201
1977 Grambling 10 1 0 .909 462 175
1978 Grambling 9 1 1 .864 246 120
1979 Grambling 8 3 0 .727 281 144
1980 Grambling 10 2 0 .833 415 166
1981 Grambling 6 4 1 .591 235 208
1982 Grambling 8 3 0 .727 322 193
1983 Grambling 8 1 2 .818 286 95
1984 Grambling 7 4 0 .636 278 203
1985 Grambling 9 3 0 .750 317 168
1986 Grambling 7 4 0 .636 249 195
1987 Grambling 5 6 0 .455 278 208
1988 Grambling 8 3 0 .727 314 185
1989 Grambling 9 3 0 .750 464 215
1990 Grambling 8 3 0 .727 364 227
1991 Grambling 5 6 0 .455 330 338
1992 Grambling 10 2 0 .833 483 242
1993 Grambling 7 4 0 .636 337 206
1994 Grambling 9 3 0 .750 479 262
1995 Grambling 5 6 0 .455 340 191
1996 Grambling 3 8 0 .273 161 218
1997 Grambling 3 8 0 .273 187 258
CAREER TOTAL 408 165 15 .707 15990 8783

*Not yet an accredited college

Awards and honors[edit | edit source]

The Football Writers Association of America's Eddie Robinson Award is named for him. Grambling also named its football facility Eddie Robinson Stadium.

Robinson received the 1985 Amos Alonzo Stagg Award from the United States Sports Academy in recognition of his outstanding achievement as a coach.[4]

Super Bowl XXXII, played at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, was dedicated to Robinson. He was accompanied onto the field by Williams and Joe Gibbs to perform the ceremonial coin toss.

Special Note[edit | edit source]

In the 1981 TV movie Grambling's White Tiger set in late 1960s, about the true story of Jim Gregory, the first white Quarterback at Grambling, Robinson is played by Harry Belafonte.

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

Template:Grambling State Tigers basketball coach navbox

de:Eddie Robinson

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