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Thu, 02.13.1919

Eddie Robinson, Football Coach, and Mentor born

Eddie Robinson

*Eddie Robinson was born on this date in 1919. He was a Black HBCU college football coach.

Edward Gay Robinson is from Jackson, La.; he attended Leland College (Baker, La.), where he played quarterback and led the team to a combined 18-1 record over the 1939 and 1940 seasons. He also served as an assistant coach during his final two years at Leland. He earned his bachelor's degree in 1941 and received a master's from the University of Iowa in 1954.

In 1941, Grambling University (then known as Louisiana Negro Normal and Industrial Institute) hired Robinson to coach football and basketball and teach physical education. In his first season, he had no assistants and no budget for replacing equipment. He handled virtually everything himself, from mowing the field to taping players' ankles to writing accounts of the games for the local newspaper. In the first season, his team posted a 3-5. The following season, however, he guided the team to a perfect 8-0 record. Robinson's Grambling Tigers went on to have two more perfect seasons, capture 17 conference titles, and win several National Negro Championships.

More than 200 of his players went on to compete in the National Football League, including NFL Hall of Fame members Willie Davis, Willie Brown, and Buck Buchanan. Robinson earned his 324th career victory; setting the record for wins on October 5, 1985; with a 27-7 defeat of Prairie View A&M in Dallas, Texas. He spent his entire head-coaching career at Grambling State University. At the end of the 1997 season, he retired.

Robinson won more games than any coach in college history (408 wins, 165 losses, and 15 ties. He led the Tigers to 8 national Black college titles in his career. This record stood until 2003.  Eddie Robinson died on April 4, 2007, and was survived by his wife, son Eddie Robinson Jr., daughter Lillian Rose Robinson, five grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.

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