AFTER 57 years of establishing a one-of-a-kind winning tradition at Grambling State University. Eddie Robinson retires as head football coach at the end of the season departing as the winningest coach in football history and leaving behind an unparalleled legacy of excellence and leadership.
Chronology of Eddie Robinson's Life
The connection between Eddie Robinson and Grambling State University began in May 1941 when the then 22-year-old laborer stopped tossing grain in a Baton Rouge feed mill and accepted his first professional job.
Former Grambling President Dr. Ralph Waldo Emerson Jones convinced Robinson that he could make a difference at the small, north Louisiana university located in Lincoln Parish, about 60 miles southeast of Shreveport. But Robinson's career at Grambling almost ended after the first year. When the former star quarterback from Leland College in Baker, La., finished that first season with a 3-5 won-loss record, some fans and teachers alike tried to convince Dr. Jones to get rid of him. The president refused, and Robinson promised himself that Dr. Jones' confidence would be rewarded. That next year, in an amazing turnaround, Grambling won all nine of its games and, more impressively, didn't allow any of its opponents to score.
Since that magical season, Grambling's football team has gotten worldwide attention and Robinson, a flag-waving patriot, has gone on to win more games than any other coach in college or professional football. He became college's winningest coach when he surpassed the late Paul (Bear) Bryant on October 5, 1985, after his Tigers whipped the Prairie View A&M Panthers 27-7 at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. That victory left him one win short of football's all-time winning record, a record that Robinson claimed a few weeks later when he moved past the late George Halas of the National Football League's Chicago Bears. …