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. (John Gagliardi holds the current record of 443). 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 that of Alabama coach Bear Bryant.
Visit the Eddie Robinson Picture Gallery, free from www.gramblingstateuniversity.com.
Celebrate Black History Month with The Courier. Robinson graduated from McKinley Senior High School in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in 1937. He went on to earn his Bachelor's Degree from Leland College in Baker, Louisiana, then went on to obtain his Masters Degree from the University of Iowa in 1954.
More than 200 of his players went on to play in the National Football League including Super Bowl XXII MVP quarterback Doug Williams, who would ultimately succeed Robinson as Grambling's head coach in 1998.
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 "Coach of the Year" award is named after Coach Robinson. Grambling also named its football facility Eddie Robinson Stadium.
Robinson is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha, the first intercollegiate Greek-letter fraternity established for African Americans.
Robinson lives in Grambling, Louisiana, with his wife of 64 years, Doris. They have two children, five grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren. While some media have reported that Coach Robinson suffers from Alzheimer's disease, this has not been confirmed by anyone from within the Robinson camp.