Hue Jackson looks to build on Eddie Robinson’s legacy

Courtesy of GSU Communications

Every February, family, friends, and football supporters embark to visit the Eddie G. Robinson Museum to honor the late Grambling State University football coach by celebrating his birthday.

Robinson, who would have turned 103 on Sunday, February 13, coached at Grambling State for 56 years and is one of the greatest college football coaches in history. He grew Grambling State from a “small” college into a football powerhouse and retired in 1997 with 408 victories.

Robinson’s legacy as a college football coach paved the way for current Grambling State head coach Hue Jackson.

Jackson, who became the 14th head coach in the program’s history, said Robinson’s impact had a lasting effect on minorities who aspired to coach football.

“He set the standard (for minority coaches) to follow,” Jackson said. “Obviously it is a tall standard to rise to. Anytime you can be called one of the greatest coaches in the history of football, that is special. He was a special man, special coach at a special place in a special time.”

Jackson was the first minority head coach in NFL history to coach at two different franchises, the Oakland (now Las Vegas) Raiders and the Cleveland Browns. In fact, there have only been two minority coaches in the entire history of the NFL to be head coach in two different spots – Jackson and Lovie Smith.

With more than 30 years in the coaching profession, Jackson is excited to land at Grambling State and continue to build upon Robinson’s legacy.

“Being at the institution where Coach Robinson won all these games means everything to me,” Jackson said. “I carry all that weight, along with my staff, our players; to do it as well as he did. We don’t know if we can live up to that, but we sure are going to try.”

Robinson, who was born in Jackson in East Feliciana Parish in South Louisiana, won nine Black College Football National Championships, along with 17 Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) championships.

Robinson received numerous accolades, including being inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1997. In addition, he received the Amos Alonzo Stagg Award from the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) in 1992 and the Amos Alonzo Staff Coaching Award from the United States Sports Academy in 1985.

Family and friends will have the opportunity to celebrate Robinson’s birthday on Saturday, February 12 during an open house event at The Eddie G. Robinson Museum from 1 pm to 4 pm.

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