Robinson c. 1980
|Born||February 13, 1919|
|Died||April 3, 2007 88) (aged|
|Alma mater|| McKinley Senior High School |
University of Iowa
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
|Head coaching record|
|Tournaments||0–3 (NCAA D-I-AA playoffs)|
|Accomplishments and honors|
9 Black college national (1955, 1967, 1972, 1974–1975, 1977, 1980, 1983, 1992)
17 SWAC (1960, 1965–1968, 1971–1974, 1977–1980, 1983, 1985, 1989, 1994)
| College Football Hall of Fame |
Inducted in 1997 (profile)
Eddie Gay Robinson Sr. (February 13, 1919 – April 3, 2007) was an American football coach. For 56 years, from 1941 to 1942 and again from 1945 to 1997, he was the head coach at Grambling State University, a historically black university (HBCU) in Grambling, Louisiana. Robinson is recognized by many college football experts as one of the greatest coaches in history. During a period in college football history when black players were not allowed to play for southern college programs, Robinson built Grambling State into a "small" college football powerhouse. He retired in 1997 with a record of 408–165–15. Robinson coached every single game from the field and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1997. Robinson is arguably the most successful college football coach in FCS history and third most victories in college football history.
American football, referred to as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular field with goalposts at each end. The offense, which is the team controlling the oval-shaped football, attempts to advance down the field by running with or passing the ball, while the defense, which is the team without control of the ball, aims to stop the offense's advance and aims to take control of the ball for themselves. The offense must advance at least ten yards in four downs, or plays, and otherwise they turn over the football to the defense; if the offense succeeds in advancing ten yards or more, they are given a new set of four downs. Points are primarily scored by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone for a touchdown or kicking the ball through the opponent's goalposts for a field goal. The team with the most points at the end of a game wins.
Grambling State University (GSU) is a historically black public university in Grambling, Louisiana. The university is home of the Eddie G. Robinson Museum and is listed on the Louisiana African American Heritage Trail. The university is a member-school of the University of Louisiana System and Thurgood Marshall College Fund.
Historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) are institutions of higher education in the United States that were established before the Civil Rights Act of 1964 with the intention of primarily serving the African-American community. This was because the overwhelming majority of predominantly white institutions of higher-learning disqualified African Americans from enrollment during segregation. From the time of slavery in the 19th century through to the second half of the 20th century, majority schools in the Southern United States prohibited all African Americans from attending, while historic schools in other parts of the country regularly employed quotas to limit admissions of blacks. There are 101 HBCUs in the United States, including public and private institutions. This figure is down from the 121 institutions that existed during the 1930s. Of these remaining HBCU institutions in the United States, 27 offer doctoral programs, 52 schools offer master's programs, 83 colleges offer bachelor's degree programs and 38 schools offer associate degrees.
Robinson was born in Jackson in East Feliciana Parish in South Louisiana, to the son of a sharecropper and a domestic worker. He graduated in 1937 from McKinley Senior High School in the capital city of Baton Rouge, Louisiana and briefly attended Southern University there. He then played quarterback and earned his bachelor's degree in English at Leland College in Baker, Louisiana,before obtaining his master's degree in 1954 from the University of Iowa in Iowa City—at which he was a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity.
Jackson is a town in East Feliciana Parish, Louisiana, United States. The population was 3,842 at the 2010 census, down from 4,130 in 2000. It is part of the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Sharecropping is a form of agriculture in which a landowner allows a tenant to use the land in return for a share of the crops produced on their portion of land. Sharecropping has a long history and there are a wide range of different situations and types of agreements that have used a form of the system. Some are governed by tradition, and others by law. Legal contract systems such as the Italian mezzadria, the French métayage, the Spanish mediero, the Slavic połowcy,издoльщина or the Islamic system of muqasat, occur widely.
A domestic worker, domestic helper, domestic servant, manservant or menial, is a person who works within the employer's household. Domestic helpers perform a variety of household services for an individual or a family, from providing care for children and elderly dependents to housekeeping, including cleaning and household maintenance. Other responsibilities may include cooking, laundry and ironing, shopping for food and other household errands. Such work has always needed to be done but before the Industrial Revolution and the advent of labour saving devices, it was physically much harder.
Robinson dreamed of becoming a college football coach, but he faced an enormous drawback—he was black in the days of Jim Crow discrimination. The only college position he could possibly hope to obtain would be at a traditionally all-black school, and these were all well staffed. Having earned his bachelor's degree at Leland, Robinson returned to Baton Rouge and took a job at a feed mill for 25 cents an hour. Not long after that, he heard that the Louisiana Negro Normal and Industrial Institute—now Grambling State University—was searching for a new football coach. He applied for the job and was hired by the school's president and baseball coach, Ralph Waldo Emerson Jones.
Baseball is a bat-and-ball game played between two opposing teams who take turns batting and fielding. The game proceeds when a player on the fielding team, called the pitcher, throws a ball which a player on the batting team tries to hit with a bat. The objectives of the offensive team are to hit the ball into the field of play, and to run the bases—having its runners advance counter-clockwise around four bases to score what are called "runs". The objective of the defensive team is to prevent batters from becoming runners, and to prevent runners' advance around the bases. A run is scored when a runner legally advances around the bases in order and touches home plate. The team that scores the most runs by the end of the game is the winner.
Ralph Waldo Emerson Jones, Sr., also known as Ralph W. E. Jones or Prez Jones, was from 1936 until his retirement in 1977 the second president of historically black Grambling State University in Grambling in Lincoln Parish in north Louisiana.
In 1941 the 22-year old Robinson assumed his duties as head football coach at Grambling State. The days of assistant coaches, offensive and defensive coordinators, and specialty coaches were long in the future, so Robinson did everything: he taught offense and defense, mowed the football field, fixed sandwiches for road trips through towns that would not serve blacks in restaurants, taped his players' sore joints, and even wrote game stories for the newspapers. He had strict standards of personal conduct and educational achievement for his players. In his first year the team went 3–5–1, but the following season—during which he recruited new players and dismissed those who did not live up to his expectations—the Tigers had a perfect 9–0 season, going unbeaten, untied, and unscored upon.
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.
The American Football League (AFL) was a major professional American football league that operated for ten seasons from 1960 until 1969, when it merged with the older National Football League (NFL). The upstart AFL operated in direct competition with the more established NFL throughout its existence. It was more successful than earlier rivals to the NFL with the same name, the 1926, 1936 and 1940 leagues, and the later All-America Football Conference.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame is the hall of fame for professional American football, located in Canton, Ohio. Opened in 1963, the Hall of Fame enshrines exceptional figures in the sport of professional football, including players, coaches, franchise owners, and front-office personnel, almost all of whom made their primary contributions to the game in the National Football League (NFL); the Hall inducts between four and eight new enshrinees each year. The Hall of Fame's Mission is to "Honor the Heroes of the Game, Preserve its History, Promote its Values & Celebrate Excellence EVERYWHERE."
The Kansas City Chiefs are a professional American football team based in Kansas City, Missouri. The Chiefs compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's American Football Conference (AFC) West division. The team was founded in 1960 as the Dallas Texans by businessman Lamar Hunt and was a charter member of the American Football League (AFL). In 1963, the team relocated to Kansas City and assumed their current name. The Chiefs joined the NFL as a result of the merger in 1970. The team is valued at over $2 billion. Hunt's son, Clark, serves as chairman and CEO. While Hunt's ownership stakes passed collectively to his widow and children after his death in 2006, Clark represents the Chiefs at all league meetings and has ultimate authority on personnel changes.
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.
The Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) is a collegiate athletic conference headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama, which is made up of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in the Southern United States. It participates in the NCAA's Division I for all sports; in football, it participates in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), formerly referred to as Division I-AA.
The black college football national championship is a national championship won by the best football team(s) among Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in the United States.
Enormous publicity attended Robinson's record-breaking win with Grambling State in 1985. Some observers feared that the coach would become the target of white hatred, much as Henry Aaron had when he broke Babe Ruth's home run record. Instead Robinson reported that he did not receive a single hate letter, even from the legion of southern fans who worshiped Bear Bryant. When asked if his record was somehow tarnished by the fact that his team played most of its games against Division I-AA caliber competition, Robinson told Sports Illustrated: "I grew up in the South. I was told where to attend elementary school, where to attend junior high school, where to attend high school. When I became a coach, I was told who I could recruit, who I could play, where I could play and when I could play. I did what I could within the system." He added that his philosophy had always been "whatever league you're in, whatever level, win there."
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 the band, and was in charge of the cheerleaders—with a budget of $46.
Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court, compete with the primary objective of shooting a basketball through the defender's hoop while preventing the opposing team from shooting through their own hoop. A field goal is worth two points, unless made from behind the three-point line, when it is worth three. After a foul, timed play stops and the player fouled or designated to shoot a technical foul is given one or more one-point free throws. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins, but if regulation play expires with the score tied, an additional period of play (overtime) is mandated.
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. Fellow college coach Joe Paterno is quoted in the Grambling State press guide as saying, "Nobody has ever done or ever will do what Eddie Robinson has done for the game... Our profession will never, ever be able to repay Eddie Robinson for what he has done for the country and the profession of football."
In 1997 news escaped that Grambling was planning to dismiss him in mid-season. Public outcry—including condemnation from Louisiana elected officials like then-Gov. Mike Foster—led Grambling to retain Robinson's services through the remainder of the season.
Robinson developed Alzheimer's disease after his retirement.He died on April 3, 2007, at Lincoln General Hospital in Ruston, Louisiana, after having been admitted earlier in the day.
Robinson and his wife, Doris, who died at the age of ninety-six in September 2015,had two children; Eddie, Jr. and Lillian Rose Robinson.
In 1979 the Black College All Star Bowl committee named its award for outstanding NFL rookies from HBCUs the "Eddie G. Robinson Trophy;" its inaugural winner was Doug Williams.Grambling named its football facility, built in 1983, Eddie Robinson Stadium. A street on GSU's campus is also named for him. In 1985 South 13th Street in Baton Rouge was renamed for him. The Los Angeles Football Classic Foundation's HBCU national title award was called the "Eddie Robinson Trophy" in 1988. Beginning in 1994, a different Eddie Robinson Trophy was awarded in Atlanta to the top HBCU player of the year. In 1997 the Football Writers Association of America's Eddie Robinson Award was renamed for him. The Eddie Robinson Classic (held from 1997–2002) was named for him. The American Urban Radio Networks has sponsored an award for HBCU coaches called the "SBN Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year;" it was won by Grambling's own Broderick Fobbs in 2014. The Eddie G. Robinson Classic series of high school football games, begun in 2015, was also named after him.
Robinson received the Amos Alonzo Stagg Award from the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) in 1982 and the Amos Alonzo Stagg Coaching Award from the United States Sports Academy in 1985. Robinson was the 1992 winner of the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Award, which was established to honor the NCAA Division I 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 and was established in 1976 to honor the values that Dodd exemplified.Robinson was awarded the General Robert R. Neyland trophy by the Knoxville Quarterback club in 1999.
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.
In 2010, the Eddie G. Robinson Museum opened on GSU's campus.The museum chronicles and celebrates the major accomplishments of the G-Men football program and former head coach Eddie Robinson. The museum is 18,000 square feet and cost approximately $3.3 million to complete.
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.
Today's Grambling State University was Grambling College from 1946 through 1973.
It was Louisiana Negro Normal and Industrial Institute (commonly Louisiana Normal) from 1928 through 1945.
|Louisiana Normal Tigers (Independent)(1941–1945)|
|1943||No team—World War II|
|1944||No team—World War II|
|1945||Louisiana Normal||10–2||W Flower|
|Grambling Tigers (Independent)(1946–1951)|
|Grambling Tigers (Midwestern Athletic Conference)(1952–1957)|
|1955||Grambling||10–0||W Orange Blossom Classic|
|Grambling Tigers (Southwestern Athletic Conference)(1958–1973)|
|1964||Grambling||9–2||6–1||2nd||L Orange Blossom Classic|
|1967||Grambling||9–1||6–1||1st||W Orange Blossom Classic|
|1969||Grambling||6–4||5–2||3rd||L Orange Blossom Classic|
|1973||Grambling||10–3||5–1||T–1st||W Boardwalk (Division II first round)|
L Grantland Rice (Division II semifinal)
|Grambling State Tigers (Southwestern Athletic Conference)(1974–1997)|
|1974||Grambling State||11–1||5–1||T–1st||W Pelican|
|1977||Grambling State||10–1||6–0||1st||W Mirage|
|1978||Grambling State||9–1–1||5–0–1||1st||L Orange Blossom Classic|
|1980||Grambling State||10–2||5–1||T–1st||L NCAA Division I-AA Semifinal||2|
|1985||Grambling State||9–3||6–1||1st||L NCAA Division I-AA First Round||8|
|1989||Grambling State||9–3||7–0||1st||L NCAA Division I-AA First Round||19|
|1992||Grambling State||10–2||6–1||2nd||W Heritage|
|1994||Grambling State||9–3||6–1||T–1st||W Heritage||7|
|La. Normal / Grambling / Grambling St.:||408–165–15|
|National championship Conference title Conference division title or championship game berth|
Independence Stadium is a stadium owned by the city of Shreveport, Louisiana and is the home of the Independence Bowl.
Douglas Lee Williams is a former American football quarterback and former head coach of the Grambling State Tigers football team. Williams is known for his remarkable performance with the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl XXII against the Denver Broncos. Williams, who was named the Super Bowl MVP, passed for a Super Bowl record 340 yards and four touchdowns, with one interception. He was the first African-American starting quarterback to win a Super Bowl. Williams also became the first player in Super Bowl history to pass for four touchdowns in a half, and the only quarterback to throw for four touchdowns in a single quarter. Williams is now a team executive for the Redskins, being hired for that role in 2014.
James Larnell "Shack" Harris is a former American football executive and former player. He also was a senior personnel executive for the Detroit Lions of the National Football League (NFL). He played as a quarterback in the American Football League (AFL) and the NFL with the Buffalo Bills, Los Angeles Rams, and San Diego Chargers. Harris is the inspiration for the song "Ramblin' Man From Gramblin'" composed by Sam Spence. His nickname Shack is short for Meshach which was given to him by his Baptist minister father.
The Bayou Classic is the annual college football game between the Grambling State University Tigers and the Southern University Jaguars, first held under that name in 1974 at Tulane Stadium in New Orleans, although the series itself actually began in 1932. A trophy is awarded to the winning school.
The Heritage Bowl is a dormant National Collegiate Athletic Association Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) bowl game pitting a team from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) against a team from the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC). It was hoped that it would become a true national championship game for historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). It was a successor to the Pelican Bowl, which matched MEAC and SWAC teams during the 1970s, and a predecessor to the Celebration Bowl of the 2010s.
Arnett William "Ace" Mumford was an American football coach. He served as the head football coach at historically black colleges and universities in Texas and Louisiana from 1924 to 1961, compiling a career college football record of 233–85–23. His head coaching positions were at Jarvis Christian College (1924–1926), Bishop College (1927–1929), Texas College (1931–1935), and Southern University.
The Grambling State Tigers represent Grambling State University in NCAA intercollegiate athletics. Grambling's sports teams participate in Division I as a member of the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC).
The Grambling State Tigers are the college football team representing the Grambling State University. The Tigers play in NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) as a member of the Southwestern Athletic Conference.
The 1997 Grambling State Tigers football team represented Grambling State University as a member of the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) during the 1997 NCAA Division I-AA football season. The Tigers were led by head coach Eddie Robinson in his 55th year and finished the season with a record of three wins and eight losses. The Tigers offense scored 187 points while the defense allowed 258 points.
Walter Kevin Dean is an American former football running back. He played college football for the Grambling State Tigers at Grambling State University. In his senior year, he led the nation in rushing and won the 1990 Walter Payton Award as the most outstanding player in Division I-AA football. He played professional football for one season in the National Football League (NFL) after he was selected by the Green Bay Packers in the sixth round of the 1991 NFL Draft.
Pete Richardson is a former American football defensive back in the National Football League and former college head coach.
The SWAC Championship Game is an American college football game that is held annually on the first Saturday in December by the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) to determine its football champion. The game pits the champion of the Eastern Division against the champion of the Western Division in a game that follows the conclusion of the regular season. From 2015 onward, the winner of the game has represented the SWAC in the Celebration Bowl. Since 2013, Toyota has been the title sponsor and the contest is officially named the Toyota SWAC Football Championship.
The Southern Jaguars baseball team is a varsity intercollegiate athletic team of Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, United States. The team is a member of the Southwestern Athletic Conference, which is part of the National Collegiate Athletic Association's Division I. The team plays its home games at Lee–Hines Field in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
The Red River State Fair Classic is an American college football game played annually in Shreveport, Louisiana, at Independence Stadium during the State Fair of Louisiana. It traces its historical lineage from a series of 160 games played over the 106 football seasons between 1911 and 2016. By having first paired historically black colleges and universities in 1922, the contest holds the distinction of being the oldest annual black college football classic, edging out the Turkey Day Classic by two years and the similar Texas State Fair Classic by three years. Also, so far, the earliest documented use of the term "classic" as part of an annual black college football game's formal name has been dated to the 1927 Louisiana State Fair Classic.
The 2017 Grambling State Tigers football team represented Grambling State University in the 2017 NCAA Division I FCS football season. The Tigers were led by fourth-year head coach Broderick Fobbs and played their home games at Eddie Robinson Stadium in Grambling, Louisiana as members of the West Division of the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC). The Tigers finished the season 11–2, 7–0 in SWAC play to win the West Division. They defeated Alcorn State in the SWAC Championship Game, receiving the conference's bid to the Celebration Bowl where they lost to North Carolina A&T.
The 2017 Celebration Bowl was a post-season American college football bowl game that was played on December 16, 2017 at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia. This third Celebration Bowl game matched the champion of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, against the champion of the Southwestern Athletic Conference, the two historically black division I conferences. The event was the finale of the 2017 FCS football season for both conferences as neither had teams earn an at large selections into the NCAA Division I FCS football playoffs and their champions abstain from the tournament.