By Lenny Moon
Without a shadow of a doubt, no collegiate football coach did more with less than former Grambling State University icon, Eddie G. Robinson. Based in a small and rural northern Louisiana town, Grambling State University is lodged within a community where agriculture is the primary way of life in Grambling, La of Lincoln Parish. Based on the 2010 US Census, the population registered at slightly under 5,000 residents.
“The Lighter Side of Eddie Robinson”
How could a gentleman with limited resources, at the helm of a modest sized historically Black institution of higher learning post an impressive 408-165-15 record with 9 Black National Football Championships, 45 winning seasons and 17 Southwestern Athletic Conference titles. And get this, more than 200 of his players that he coached went on to play professional football. Included in his resume is the first Black QB to start a Super Bowl in Doug Williams (who broke most of the existing passing standards in SB XXII), four Pro Football Hall of Fame members (Buck Buchanan, Willie Brown, Charlie Joiner and Willie Davis) and James “Shack” Harris (the first Black QB to begin the season as a starting signal caller in pro football).
Personally, I had the pleasure of crossing paths with the legendary college football coach in the late 80s as a journalist, during the time Coach Rob was several decades into his hall of fame career but still quite viable and arguably still in his prime. As skilled as he was as the leader of young men on the gridiron, Coach was equally adept at delivering on the banquet circuit where he frequently was the mouthpiece of not only Grambling football but the HBCU product in general. For those of the many, many admirers of Coach Eddie G. Robinson who may not have been privy to his lighter side, oh yes, he did have the knack for telling a good story or two at the podium.
See Video Links Below