Tahlequah Daily Press

Sports

December 20, 2013

Under Rob's rules

Rob Robinson named NSU’s head football coach

bjohnson@tahlequahdailypress.com

Northeastern State opened its Christmas present a couple days early. It wasn’t an iPad, tablet, gift card or a lump of coal.

Inside was a life-sized head football coach.

His name? Rob Robinson, and he was announced as NSU’s 19th head coach in school history on Thursday.

“I am very excited for the opportunity to take over a program at a great university,” Robinson said in a release from NSU. “I didn’t want to be a head coach just to be a head coach. I wanted to be at a place that has a chance to be successful, and Northeastern State has everything it needs to build a quality program.”

Robinson takes over in Tahlequah where he replaces Kenny Evans, who was relieved of his duties following the RiverHawks’ 45-38 victory over Central Oklahoma on Nov. 16.

A little more than a month later, Tony Duckworth, NSU’s director of athletics, found his guy.

“Rob Robinson was on my short list from the beginning, and once I began having conversations with him it was clear he met the characteristics I sought in our next head football coach,” Duckworth said. “Coach Robinson is a great addition to the NSU family, and he will be an outstanding leader of our football program.”

Leaving Washburn after coaching at the Topeka, Kan., institution for 12 years, Robinson will take the reigns of a team that went 2-9 overall and 2-8 in the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association in 2013. In two seasons of MIAA play, the RiverHawks posted a combined total of six wins and 14 losses.

“I have coached in the MIAA for 13 years now, and I think that experience has helped give me a great perspective of how to build a successful program at this level. You must have the right model to be successful in this league. You have to recruit the right kind of players and you must have the right kind of coaches that can figure out what the other coordinators in this league are doing,” said Robinson, who was Washburn’s offensive coordinator for the last four seasons. “This conference, from top to bottom, is one of the sharpest that you’re going to play against in terms of collective football minds. We can’t just get better athletes; we’re also going to have to do our due diligence in scouting each and every week to put together game plans that can slow down what the other teams are going to try to do against us.”

In 2013, Washburn’s offense averaged 40.9 points per game, which was third in the MIAA behind only Northwest Missouri State (45.4) and Pittsburg State (46.5).

During his time at Washburn, Robinson also coached running backs and wide receivers. He was instrumental in Washburn quarterback Dane Simoneau finishing second in the Harlon Hill Trophy voting in 2011.

“Rob did an outstanding job here in every aspect that he had control of,” Washburn head coach Craig Schurig told the Tahlequah Daily Press. “I knew he was going to move on as a head coach at some point. I thought it was a good fit for him and his family.”

With Robinson’s hire at NSU, he becomes the second former staff member under Schurig to become a head coach in the MIAA. Chris Brown — a former defensive coordinator at Washburn — took over at Fort Hays State in December of 2010.

Next season Schurig will coach against both Brown and Robinson. Northeastern State is scheduled to play at Washburn on Nov. 8.

“We’ve had this before and it’s awkward the actual leading up to the game and the postgame,” Schurig said. “But during the game you’re playing and don’t think much about it. We have people at Fort Hays State and Pittsburg State, so it’s like playing family.

“We’ll be rooting for Rob except for the games we play him in.”

A Trenton, Mo., native, Robinson graduated from William Jewell College in 2000. He was a four-year letterman at fullback for the Cardinals.

After college, Robinson spent one season at Pittsburg State as a graduate assistant.

Now he’s transitioned into the state of Oklahoma.

“The state of Oklahoma is a football-rich tradition area. From college to high school, football is the No. 1 sport in the state,” said Robinson, who will make his head-coaching debut when the RiverHawks open the 2014 season at Pittsburg State on either Sept. 4 or 6.

“They want to play and they know how to play. The level of prospect that I think you can get in Oklahoma is high and that is going to be our backyard. The location of Tahlequah was a big draw for me because you can hit Kansas, Missouri and Arkansas all within two hours, and Texas is only three and a half hours away. We are going to be a high school-based team. We are going to recruit the state of Oklahoma hard. This is going to be an exciting time to get the RiverHawks back to where we need to be.”

When Duckworth announced NSU’s coaching vacancy in November, he said, “I can assure you whoever we hire isn’t going to be Houdini.”

He was right; it wasn’t Houdini. It was Robinson, NSU’s stocking-stuffer.

Robinson's coaching profile

Championships/bowl games as a coach

2011 NCAA Playoffs

2010 Kanza Bowl Champions

2007 NCAA Playoffs

2005 NCAA Playoffs

2005 MIAA Champions

2004 Mineral Water Bowl Champions

2001 MIAA Champions (Pittsburg State)

* - All postseason ventures were with Washburn, unless noted otherwise

1
Text Only
Sports
  • ropin-make-a-wish.jpg Dirteater, others help Make-A-Wish

    The event will benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Tickets are $5, with kids 6 and under free.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Photo-for-Shinn-story.jpg Coaches preview Sooners season

    Toby Rowland addressed the elephant in the room even before Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops, defensive coordinator Mike Stoops and offensive coordinator Josh Heupel arrived at Journey Church on Wednesday.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Date set for Keys football physicals

    Before scheduled practices can begin in order to prepare for the season, players must first receive a physical.
    Next Tuesday, Aug. 5, Keys High School will be administering physicals in the high school cafeteria.

    July 31, 2014

  • Keys-Dakota.jpg Playing both sides of the line

    Recently, Keys High School football standout Dakota Matlock was nearly severely injured in a terrifying car wreck.

    Matlock is coming off a stellar gridiron season for Keys High School. On offense, Matlock ran for over 1,000 yards for the Cougars. In his sophomore season, Matlock led Keys in tackles from the safety position.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bassmaster.jpg Crossing, and fishing, the Delaware

    Bassmaster Elite Series anglers to compete Aug. 7

    BASS has fished out of some legendary venues over the years (including Chicago, Detroit and New Orleans), but never Philadelphia, which is host of the Bassmaster Elite at Delaware River, Aug. 7-10, 2014.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mison.jpg Mixon’s attorney says incident with woman self-defense

    The attorney for Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon says the incident that left a 20-year-old female OU student with multiple facial fractures was a case of self-defense.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hooper.jpg Sparking the flame

    Sequoyah High School’s Justin Hooper looking to lead this year

    Last season was Justin’s last chance to play alongside Cody at Sequoyah High School.
    Justin had to battle to win the Indians starting tailback. The coaching staff did not know who was going to be the Indians starting running back coming into fall practice.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • NSU-fishing-team.jpg NSU teams compete in fishing tournament

    Three teams from Northeastern State University’s Bass Fishing Team competed in the Fishing League Worldwide College Fishing Tournament on Grand Lake in Grove on Saturday, June 21.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Johnson, East win easily at All-State

    Jake Johnson was able to hold off Lawton MacArthur’s Trent Meisel at the Class 5A state tournament in May. On Monday at the All-State tournament at Cherokee Hills Golf Club, Johnson had it much easier against Meisel.

    July 29, 2014

  • McMillan-blackboard.jpg Hometown brothers team up for RiverHawks football

    Northeastern State’s football program will include a pair of hometown brothers for the 2014 season.
    Mason McMillan returns for his sophomore season, and this year he will be reunited with his younger brother, Kourtland. The brothers graduated from Tahlequah High School – Mason in 2013, followed by Kourtland in 2014. At Tahlequah, Mason and Kourtland shared the gridiron for one season.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

Poll

Do you think "blue laws" related to Sunday alcohol sales in Oklahoma should be relaxed? Choose the option that most closely reflects your opinion.

Alcoholic drinks should be sold Sundays in restaurants and bars, and liquor stores should be open.
Alcoholic drinks should be sold Sundays in restaurants and bars only; liquor stores should stay closed.
Liquor stores should be open Sundays, but drinks should not be served anywhere on Sundays.
The law should remain as it is now; liquor stores should be closed, and drinks should be served on Sundays according to county option.
No alcohol should be sold or served publicly on Sundays.
Undecided.
     View Results
Press Sports Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Stocks