Eddie Robinson: by the numbers
Cold, Hard Football Facts for Apr 03, 2007
Eddie Robinson, who left Grambling State University in 1997 as the winningest coach in football history, has died.
He was 88 years old and had been suffering from Alzheimer's disease for many years. He is survived by his wife, Doris, two children, five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Here are the Cold, Hard Football Facts you need to know about the life of one of the great coaches in football history.
Robinson coached at Grambling State University in Louisiana for 56 seasons (1942-97).
Robinson compiled a record of 408-165-15 (.707). He broke the NCAA coaching record of 323 victories previously held by Bear Bryant in 1985. (The all-division record has since been surpassed by John Gagliardi (443-420-1) of Division III St. John's University of Minnesota.)
The number of points Grambling surrendered in Robinson's second season as a coach, during a 9-0 campaign.
Former Grambling quarterback Doug Williams was named the MVP of Super Bowl XXII, after his Redskins crushed the Broncos, 42-10. Williams completed 18 of 29 passes for 340 yards, 4 TDs and 1 INT. He replaced Robinson as the head coach at Grambling in 1998.
News of Robinson's death on April 4, 2007 comes 39 years to the day of the death of another African-American pioneer, Martin Luther King Jr.
Robinson was married to Doris for 64 years.
More than 200 Grambling players went on to the NFL on Robinson's watch. Among the more notable names were Williams, former Pro Bowler and Super Bowl champion defensive back Everson Walls and former Rams great Paul "Tank" Younger. (Check out Grambling's "Super Bowl roster" here.)
Number of kidneys Walls donated earlier this year to save the life of former Cowboys teammate Ron Springs, who suffered from diabetes. Robinson apparently taught his players that some things are more important than football.
Robinson sent four future Pro Football Hall of Famers into the NFL: Willie Brown, Buck Buchanan, Willie Davis and Charlie Joiner.
Only 11 schools, all of them major Division I football powers, have produced more Pro Football Hall of Famers than Grambling.
To put that into perspective, remember that Grambling is a Division IAA program and that when Robinson began coaching at the school, it was called the Louisiana Negro Normal and Industrial Institute. Yet the only schools represented more often in Canton have names like USC, Notre Dame and Michigan.
Eddie Robinson not only helped remake Grambling. He remade the landscape of football at both the college and professional levels, right up through Canton.
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