Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Football Coach Eddie Robinson Dies at 88 [David Stefanini]

This from

"The sadness comes not from the news that Eddie Robinson died, but from the fear that not enough coaches, players and college football fans know how he lived.

Robinson suffered from the cruelty of Alzheimer's disease. He couldn't remember. His memory committed treason. And late last night, shortly before April 3 became April 4, his body decided it wasn't worth the effort to keep trying.

Coach Rob -- that was the Grambling State shorthand for him -- was 88. It was a full life, maybe the equivalent of two. But longevity isn't his legacy. Instead, it's what Robinson did during a 57-year run at a place that white America hardly knew existed. Nor, for years, did it care."

Here is a brief description of Eddie Robinson from Wikipedia:

"Eddie Gay Robinson (February 13, 1919 – April 3, 2007) was an American football coach. Robinson spent fifty-six years as the head college football coach at historically black Grambling State University in Grambling in Lincoln Parish in north 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 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 graduated 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."