For the American football running back (born 1969), see Greg Robinson (American football).
Greg Robinson
Biographical details
Born (1951-10-09) October 9, 1951 (age 68)
Los Angeles, California
Playing career
Position(s)Linebacker, center, tight end
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
Pacific (Assistant coach)
Cal State Fullerton (Assistant)
NC State (Assistant)
New York Jets (DL)
New York Jets (DC)
Denver Broncos (DC)
Kansas City Chiefs (DC)
Texas (DC)
Syracuse (Head coach)
Michigan (DC)
Head coaching record
College Football Data Warehouse

Greg Robinson (born October 9, 1951 in Los Angeles, California) is an American football coach, most recently the defensive coordinator for Michigan. He was previously the head coach of the Syracuse Orange football team from 2005 until 2008. Robinson also served as the co-defensive coordinator at the University of Texas during the 2004 season. Prior to his role at Texas, he was defensive coordinator for three teams in the National Football League: the Kansas City Chiefs under Dick Vermeil, the Denver Broncos under Mike Shanahan, where his team won two Super Bowl championships in 1997 and 1998, and the New York Jets under Pete Carroll.

Robinson was hired as head coach of the Orange in January 2005 after the firing of head coach Paul Pasqualoni, who had been Syracuse's head coach since 1991. On November 17, 2008, with the Orange reeling from their fourth straight losing season under Robinson, and their only double-digit losing seasons in program history, it was announced that he would be fired from his coaching duties at the end of the season.[1] He finished his tenure with a 10–37 record overall, and a 3–25 record in the Big East. Robinson finished up with the worst record in the history of the program. Off work in 2012 Robinson served as an assistant coach to Saint Francis High School (La Cañada Flintridge). Saint Francis is coached by Jim Bonds who was a quarterback at UCLA when Robinson was an assistant coach.

Early yearsEdit

Robinson graduated from Garces Memorial High School in Bakersfield, California; then attended and played at Bakersfield College, a junior college, before transferring to the University of Pacific. Following his hiring Robinson was praised by the Syracuse community for his public speaking abilities and likable personality.

During his collegiate coaching career, Robinson was an assistant coach at North Carolina State University, Cal State Fullerton, UCLA and his alma mater, the University of the Pacific, in addition to his roles at both the University of Texas and Syracuse University.


Robinson's tenure as defensive coordinator with the Denver Broncos occurred during their Super Bowl (XXXII & XXXIII) seasons in 1997 and 1998.Robinson's Bronco defense played superbly during the 1998 playoff run. The Broncos defense held the Miami Dolphins scoreless in the divisional playoffs, allowed only a touchdown as a result of a fumble on the one yard line against the New York Jets in the AFC Championship Game, and then allowed a single touchdown to the Atlanta Falcons in the 4th quarter of the Super Bowl after the outcome was secure.


The team under Robinson's tenure started in a fundamental rebuilding stage, as several new assistants were also replaced upon Pasqualoni's departure. As such, Robinson installed a new West Coast offense scheme, replacing the option run style of offense previously run by Pasqualoni, as well as new defensive schemes. Robinson had a 10–37 overall record, and a 3–25 record in the Big East, which is the lowest winning percentage in a four-year span for the program. Two out of those four years, Robinson led the team into double-digit losing seasons, the only double-digit losing seasons in program history. By contrast, Pasqualoni only had one losing season in his entire career at Syracuse and only two in his head coaching career (a 2-7 season at Western Connecticut his rookie year).

In his final press conference as Syracuse coach, after the Orange had concluded a fourth straight losing campaign (3-9), Robinson likened his relentless positivity to the famous children's story The Little Engine That Could, even pausing to read a description of the story directly from Wikipedia's page of The Little Engine That Could.[2] Robinson, in the words of one reporter "defiant as always and perhaps in a bit of denial", told the assembled press that in spite of his shortcomings at Syracuse, "I still think I can."[3]

Robinson was fired November 17, 2008, two games before the end of the season. He had one year left on a contract that paid him $1.1 million per season.[4]


Robinson was hired by Michigan on January 20, 2009 as their defensive coordinator, replacing Scott Shafer.[5] In 2009, Michigan ranked 82nd of 120 teams in the Football Bowl Subdivision and 9th of 11 teams in the Big Ten in total defense. In 2010, the Wolverines ranked 110th of 120 teams in FBS and 11th of 11 teams in the Big Ten in total defense.

Robinson was fired with head coach Rich Rodriguez and the majority of his staff on January 5, 2011.

Head coaching recordEdit

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Coaches# AP°
Syracuse Orange (Big East Conference) (2005–2008)
2005 Syracuse 1–10 0–7 8th
2006 Syracuse 4–8 1–6 T-7th
2007 Syracuse 2–10 1–6 8th
2008 Syracuse 3–9 1–6 T-7th
Syracuse: 10–37 3–25
Total: 10–37
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title
Indicates BCS bowl, Bowl Alliance or Bowl Coalition game. #Rankings from final Coaches' Poll.
°Rankings from final AP Poll.


External linksEdit

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Pete Carroll
New York Jets Defensive Coordinator
Succeeded by
Jim Vechiarella
Preceded by
Charlie Waters
Denver Broncos Defensive Coordinator
Succeeded by
Ray Rhodes
Preceded by
Kurt Schottenheimer
Kansas City Chiefs Defensive Coordinator
Succeeded by
Gunther Cunningham
Preceded by
Carl Reese
Texas Defensive Coordinator
2004 (alongside Duane Akina)
Succeeded by
Gene Chizik
Preceded by
Scott Shafer
Michigan Defensive Coordinator
Succeeded by
Greg Mattison

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