The Eddie Robinson Award
Eddie Robinson's memory lives on in a dozen halls of fame, all honors befitting a man who coached his 57 teams to a stunning 408 victories, one of the top three such win totals in college football history. He was the epitome of the very best in college athletics, and so it is in this spirit the Allstate Sugar Bowl will present annually an award to an athlete, coach, team or athletic administrator in the state of Louisiana who has demonstrated the qualities most closely associated with Coach Robinson: outstanding achievement in athletics, academics, sportsmanship, and citizenship by maximizing the use of limited resources.
2009 - Brian Bordainick, Carver High School
2010 - Eddie Flint, New Orleans
2011 - Wayne Reese, New Orleans
2012 - Holy Rosary High School Track
2013 - Ron Gearing, Orleans Parish Public Schools
2014 - Donnie Russell, Edna Karr High School Baseball Coach
2015 - Broderick Fobbs, Grambling State Football
Grambling State University Football was never so low.
A combined record of 2-21 during the 2012-2013 seasons. Things sunk so low that the 2013 season was most memorable due to a player revolt related to dissatisfaction with athletic facilities and travel accommodations. The week-long boycott forced cancellation of a road game against Jackson State.
One of the most recognized brands in college football was getting recognition for all the wrong reasons.
Enter Broderick Fobbs. A Grambling alum who was one of the few coaches to jump at the vacant head coaching position. All he did was lead the G-Men to seven wins---one win away from playing for the Southwestern Athletic Conference Championship.
After resurrecting one of college football's iconic programs in his first season as head coach, Broderick Fobbs is the recipient of the 2014-15 Eddie Robinson Award by the Sports Selection Committee of the Allstate Sugar Bowl Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame. The award is presented annually to an athlete, coach, team or athletic administrator in Louisiana who demonstrates the qualities most associated with Grambling legend Eddie Robinson: outstanding achievement in athletics, academics, sportsmanship and citizenship by maximizing the use of limited resources.
"Just the name Eddie Robinson, that says it all for me. It's just a tremendous honor to receive an award with his name on it," beamed the man who captained two editions of Grambling teams coached by Robinson.
The 2014 Grambling Tigers lost the first three games of the season before putting together a seven-game winning streak.
The victory-string was snapped by Alabama State, however the Tigers entered the Bayou Classic against arch-rival Southern needing a win for a spot in the conference title game. Grambling fell short in a 52-45 thriller, completing the year with a 7-5 record and one of the most remarkable turnarounds in recent college football history.
Fobbs says he relied on one of many lessons he learned from the man whose name graces this award.
"Just the importance of discipline and getting up every day and dusting yourself off and continuing to work and do your job."
The 2014 SWAC Coach of the Year heard the wisdom of Eddie Robinson his entire life. Before getting those life lessons from the man himself as a Grambling student-athlete, it was drilled into his psyche by his father Lee Fobbs, an outstanding running back at Grambling under Coach Robinson in the late sixties and currently a member of Broderick's coaching staff.
"He had a Plan A going in but he did not have a Plan B because he really believed in Plan A. He didn't believe it would fail," says the proud father.
"He's done a great job with his staff and with the kids in terms of where he wants them to go academically. I just think it's fitting that he would win this award."
Story submitted by Ro Brown of the Greater New Orleans Sports Selection Committee.