April 04, 2007
RIP, Eddie Robinson

Legendary coach at Grambling University Eddie Robinson has passed away at the age of 88.

Robinson's was a career that spanned 11 presidents, several wars and the civil-rights movement.

His older records were what people remembered: in 57 years, Robinson set the standard for victories, going 408-165-15. John Gagliardi of St. John's, Minn., passed Robinson and has 443 wins.

"The real record I have set for over 50 years is the fact that I have had one job and one wife," Robinson said.

He had been suffering from Alzheimer's, which was diagnosed shortly after he was forced to retire following the 1997 season, in which he won only three games. His health had been declining for years and he had been in and out of a nursing home during the last year.

Robinson said he tried to coach each player as if he wanted him to marry his daughter.

He began coaching at Grambling State in 1941, when it was still the Louisiana Negro Normal and Industrial Institute, and single-handedly brought the school from obscurity to international popularity.

His story is too big, too amazing, to capture in an excerpt here. Go read that obituary, then do a little Googling and learn some more about him. Rest in peace, Eddie Robinson.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on April 04, 2007 to Other sports