Les Robinson is a former American basketball coach and former athletic director of North Carolina State and The Citadel.
Robinson graduated in 1965 with a bachelor's of science degree in parks and recreation and physical education from North Carolina State University. He then became an assistant coach at N.C. State for one year. From there, he was the head basketball coach and athletic director at Cedar Key High School in Florida for two years. In 1968 he returned to graduate school, serving as an assistant coach at Western Carolina University where he also received a master's degree in physical education and guidance counseling.
After one year at Western Carolina, Robinson moved to The Citadel as an assistant coach. He served in that role for five years before taking over the program in 1974 - 1975. He coached at The Citadel for 11 seasons. Although he only managed a .500-or-better record five times, his 132 wins are the most in school history. He was twice named South Carolina Coach of the Year and was a two-time Southern Conference Coach of the Year.
In 1985 Robinson became East Tennessee State University's men's head basketball coach and athletic director. Under his guidance, ETSU won the 1989 and 1990 Southern Conference championships, playing in NCAA Tournament both years. In 1990 Robinson was named Southern Conference Coach of the Year and Tennessee Coach of the Year.
In 1989, Robinson served as an assistant coach for the U.S. World Championship qualifying team in Mexico City, Mexico. He also coached the South team to a Bronze medal in the 1993 Olympic Festival in San Antonio, Texas.
North Carolina State University hired Robinson in 1990 to replace Jim Valvano as head coach. He was the 1991 District Coach of the Year as selected by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) after leading NC State to a 20-11 record in the first season. Robinson is one of only two first-year coaches in the Atlantic Coast Conference history to win 20 games, post a winning regular season conference record, and win games in both the ACC and NCAA Tournaments.
However, the Wolfpack lost scholarships as a result of NCAA sanctions, and the team plummeted into the ACC's second division for the next five years. The low point of Robinson's tenure at his alma mater came during the 1992-93 season. Due to injuries and academic-related suspensions, Robinson was only able to dress seven players for most of conference play.
In 1992, the ACC Tournament was expanded because of the addition of Florida State. A play-in game between the eighth and ninth place teams was created, and during his five years as the N.C. State coach after its addition, Robinson's Wolfpack played in the play-in game four out of five times (finishing seventh in 1992 and avoiding the game). Because of his team's traditional appearance in the Thursday night game, the game was referred to as the "Les Robinson Invitational" by ACC fans. The play-in game was discontinued when the ACC expanded to include Miami and Virginia Tech, and required three Thursday games.
Les Robinson would stay on as head coach through the 1995-96 season, and although he never won as much as his predecessors, Robinson's stint went a long way towards cleansing the image of the program to both insiders and outsiders. Robinson was appointed NC State's athletic director in 1996 and stepped down as head coach. He left to become The Citadel's athletic director in 2000. On January 25, 2008, he announced he would retire at the end of the school year, effective June 30.
Other articles related to "les robinson, robinson":
... North Carolina State University hired Robinson in 1990 to replace Jim Valvano as head coach ... Robinson was the only first-year coach (other than Bill Guthridge at UNC) in the Atlantic Coast Conference history to win 20 games, post a winning regular season ... The low point of Robinson's tenure at his alma mater came during the 1992–93 season ...
... of what would eventually become known as the "Les Robinson Game" because of N.C ... State's multiple appearances in the play-in game under coach Les Robinson ... In fact, this was the only time under Robinson that the Wolfpack did not participate in the Les Robinson Game ...
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