"I Remember Coach: 15 Plus Years Covering Coach Rob"
- J. W. Terry, III


 

 

 

 

 
“Coach didn't just prepare us for football, he prepared us for life,”
- Hall of Famer Willie Brown
 

Eddie Gay Robinson ( February 13 , 1919 – April 3 , 2007 ) was an American college football coach who spent fifty-six years as the head coach at historically black Grambling State University in Grambling in Lincoln Parish in northern Louisiana , from 1941 through 1997 . He was affectionately known simply as "Coach" throughout college football. During his tenure, Robinson established himself as the winningest coach in college football history, becoming the first coach to record 400 wins. Robinson is second on the list of wins by a college coach, immediately behind active coach John Gagliardi of St. John's University. Robinson retired with a record of 408 wins, 165 losses and 15 ties. Even during the era of segregation in the American South , Robinson's talent was praised by many white coaches, especially by the legendary Bear Bryant of the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa .

Robinson was born in Jackson, 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. More than 200 of his players went on to play in the National Football League , including 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 eight black college football national championships. After several losing seasons in the 1990s, pressure mounted for Robinson to resign. In 1997 , news escaped that Grambling was planning to dismiss him. Public outcry — including condemnation from Louisiana elected officials — led Grambling to retain Robinson's services through the remainder of the season. The Football Writers of America's Eddie Robinson Award award is named for him. Grambling, a predominantly black community, also named its football facility Eddie Robinson Stadium . Robinson was a member of Alpha Phi Alpha , the first intercollegiate Greek-letter fraternity established for African Americans.

Robinson died on April 3, 2007, at Lincoln General Hospital in Ruston, Louisiana , after being admitted earlier in the day. He had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease shortly after his retirement from football. - From Wikipedia, 2007

     

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