The Texas Southern athletics department has lost a colleague, a coach and a father-figure. TSU former baseball head coach and GSU alumnus Candy Robinson died this week after a long battle with cancer.”Coach Robinson has been an integral part of the athletics department for more than two decades and his contributions will always be remembered,” said Texas Southern Athletics Director Charles McClelland.
“Candy’s loss to the TSU athletics family will be one that cannot be replaced.”
Robinson served as head coach of the Texas Southern baseball team for 19 years. He joined the program in 1989. He was the first TSU head coach of only baseball. He recorded 332 wins during his career.
He led the Tigers to their first two Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) Championship Titles and their first two NCAA post season appearances (2004 & 2008). In the 2004 NCAA Division I Regionals, Robinson and his team defeated the then defending NCAA World Series Champion Rice Owls.
Robinson was a two-time SWAC Coach of the Year (2004 & 2008).
“I have accomplished a lot at TSU and after 20 years, I am satisfied with what I’ve done for the program and the university,” he said when he retired.
I am most proud of the kids who have come through the program. Nearly all of them graduated and are now making a positive impact in the community. That’s real important to me,” said Coach Robinson.
Through the years, Robinson’s players were recognized for their accomplishments. They included 2005 SWAC pitcher of the year Brandon Strickland and 2007 SWAC freshman of the year and freshman All-American Kyle Smith (OF). Other All-SWAC performers include Isaac Daniels (P), Herman Coachman (1B), JD Stewart (DH), Alph Coleman (OF) and David Bell (C).
Some of his former Tiger players have been drafted or played in major league baseball organizations. They include Alph Coleman and Donavin Campbell -Atlanta Braves, Autumn Riggies Toronto Blue Jays, Sonny Garcia -Baltimore Orioles, Delvin Matthews -Milwaukee Brewers, Elliot Gould – Padres, Brandon Stricklen-Houston Astros, Donald Green – New York Mets and Lindon Bonds – Washington Nationals.
Coach Robinson was a standout pitcher at Grambling State University, culminating his college career with an All-American nod at pitcher in 1965. After his collegiate days, Robinson was drafted and signed by the Boston Red Sox. He played several years in the major league baseball organization.
Coach Robinson spent the last two years at Texas Southern as Director of Baseball Operations. He is survived by his wife Sara and their two daughters Ariel and Candace.