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Museum continues to showcase legacy of famed GSU football coach

By Ian Robinson
On September 11, 2021

The Eddie G. Robinson Museum recognizes the contributions that the former head coach for the Grambling State Tigers made to the game of football as the winningest coach in NCAA Division 1 history.

According to the museum’s website, Senate Bill No. 919 of the 1999 Louisiana Legislature recognized that it was appropriate to establish a museum to honor the legacy of the legendary football coach. The museum chronicles and celebrates the life and career of the famed former head football coach of Grambling State University.

When Black college football players in the South were not allowed to play for the segregated Southern college programs, Robinson built the small-town college into a football powerhouse, breeding future members of the National Football League, including James “Shack” Harris, the first Black quarterback to start an NFL season opener, and Doug Williams, the first Black quarterback to start and win a Super Bowl.

During his coaching career, Robinson compiled 45 winning seasons, including winning 17 SWAC championships and nine Black college national championships.

Museum coordinator Jessie Mayfield said the museum has seen over 150,000 visitors since its ribbon cutting on Feb. 13, 2010.

“A large number of the visitor count is through events, mostly related to Grambling State University,” Mayfield said. “The museum has ongoing partnerships with the History, Mass Communication, and Art departments, as well as First Year Experience (FYE) and Grambling State University Athletics to bring students to the museum.”

Mayfield said the museum averaged more than 100 tours and 30 events per year before the pandemic.

“The Louisiana schools form our highest tour base each year. The museum has many schools visiting from several areas across the United States,” Mayfield said.

“Texas and California schools lead the way with the second largest number of visits.”

The museum also offers the Doris Robinson Banquet Hall, named after the wife of the famed football coach, for rent. According to Mayfield, an application can be picked up from the museum.

“Reservation is based on first-come, first-served basis, with the initial payment or deposit paid at the time of inquiry,” she said.

A fundraiser was held at the museum Feb. 13-15, 2019, in commemoration of Robinson’s 100th birthday.

The family of Eddie G. Robinson are expected to attend the university’s Homecoming this year at Robinson Stadium on Oct. 16.

The museum will educate future generations of GSU students, including players for the Grambling State Tigers, about the man whose face is etched in the Mount Rushmore of not only Black college football, but collegiate football.

Hours of operation for the museum are from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.

For more information on the museum, visit robinsonmuseum.com. 

 

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