Honoring the legend

One man. One coach. One team. One dream. Legendary Coach Eddie G. Robinson is a name vastly spoken around the pine trees and streets of Grambling, but at the corporate banquet honoring the legend, hearing Coach Rob’s name was similar to hearing a thousand pins being dropped at the same time.Coach Rob is eminently recognized for leading the G-Men football team with 57 seasons, retiring with a record of 408 wins (at the time of his retirement in 1997 was the most in NCAA history), 165 losses and 15 ties.
Coach Rob, who sent more than 200 players to the professional level of athletics, was the sixth head coach for the Tigers.

The commemorative event was held at the Frederick C. Hobdy arena and brought in the state’s prominent leaders.
Congressman Rodney Alexander and Secretary of State Jay Dardenne were among the attendees at the banquet. Dardenne served as the master of ceremonies. Kingi Knox (radio and TV personality), assisted Dardenne as mistress of ceremonies of the event.

Memorable friends and associates of Coach Rob such as Everson Walls (former NFL player, Radio/TV personality), Willie Brown (administrator, Oakland Raiders & Hall of Famer), James “Shack” Harris (senior personnel executive, Detroit Lions) and Vernon Cheek (assistant director of media relations, Indianapolis Colts) were just a few who came to show their respect and fidelity towards Coach Rob.

While the unexpected harsh weather deterred many from attending, it did not hinder a special document that came from a well-known name: Barack Obama. The nation’s 44th President addressed a letter to the family, friends and other guests at the banquet.

Grambling State University Interim President, Dr. Frank G. Pogue, provided a warm and uplifting greeting to the crowd of distinguished guests and visitors, noting that the event could not have been held in a better place and added that he was proud to be in the Frederick C. Hobdy Center.

Dr. Pogue mentioned that the purpose for the banquet was not only to embrace Coach Rob’s legacy, but to also allow fellow and past Gramblinites to recommit themselves and to remember the importance of such an event and future ones to come.

Former GSU head football coach Doug Williams spoke to the audience about his memories with Coach Rob.
Williams stressed the importance for one to remain determined and dedicated.

“If you give a man an opportunity to do things, there is no telling what he will do,” he said.
Following Williams was guest speaker Mike Tomlin, head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Tomlin noted that he was honored to be the orator at such a joyous event.

His humility did not go unnoticed. February 12, 2010 (date of the banquet), was declared Mike Tomlin Day in the state of Louisiana and will follow in the years to come.

“While it was a bittersweet feeling for the Robinson family at the banquet, it was also a grateful sentiment to hold,” said grandson Eddie G. Robinson III.
On paper, Coach Rob had the profession of a renowned football coach, but off the record, he was a mentor, role model and father figure to young men.

While he has departed earth, his essence is among the bleachers and in the midst of the green grass of the football stadium, and most importantly, within each and every Gramblinite, past, current and future.

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