Coaching legend Robinson dies at 88
Eddie Robinson, coach at Grambling State University for nearly 60 years, died Tuesday night in Ruston, La., after being admitted to a hospital earlier in the day. He was 88. Robinson was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease shortly after he retired in 1997.
Funeral arrangements were incompleteWednesday for a coach who holds the Division I record for wins in college football 10 seasons after retiring.
Robinson logged 408 victories at the historically black college between 1941 and 1997. He also produced 45 winning seasons, won nine National Black College championships and 17 Southwestern Athletic Conference titles, coached four college football Hall of Famers (Buck Buchanan, Paul “Tank” Younger, Gary “Big Hands” Johnson and Doug Williams) and sentmore than 200 players to the NFL, including four Pro Football Hall of Famers (Buchanan, Willie Davis, Willie Brown and Charlie Joiner).
“He ranks right up there with Bear Bryant and Amos Alonzo Stagg,” Joiner said. “It reminds me of one time when another person asked this one guy if Coach Rob was in a class by himself. He stood there and thought for a long time. I really can’t say, but it doesn’t take long to call the roll.”
He is survived by his wife Doris, son Eddie Jr., and daughter Lillian Robinson.
“It’s tough,” said Williams, an All-American quarterback at Grambling who succeeded Robinson as coach in 1998.“We all knowit’s coming. But that’s Eddie Robinson. Eddie Robinson is not supposed to go. But when you look back at it, there’s lot of joy init too. I don’t thinknoneof ushave toworry about where he’s going to be from nowon. He is a gate keeper.”
Williams, MVP of Super Bowl XXII, is currently the Tampa Bay Buccaneers personnel executive.
Robinson always said hewanted to be remembered as a coach who cared about his players and tried to mold them into productive citizens. His philosophy: “You have to coach them as though he were the boy who was going tomarry your daughter,” and “you can’t coach them if you don’t love them.”
USA TODAY · THURSDAY, APRIL
Robinson: Won D-I record 408 games.