Tigers Name Kevin Robinson Head Men's Track and Field Coach
June 15, 2006
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - In its first job search for a men's track coach in 36 years, the University of Memphis athletic department promoted one of its own with the hiring of Kevin Robinson as the new men's track and field head coach it was announced Thursday. Robinson, a former Tiger thrower, assumes the head coaching position from his coach, Glenn Hays, who retired after 36 seasons this spring.
"I am pleased to announce that Kevin Robinson has accepted the position of head men's track coach at the University of Memphis," said Tiger Athletic Director R.C. Johnson. "Kevin has proven his ability as a track coach by leading our field event athletes to record-setting performances over the past four years while serving as our assistant track coach. His throwers have excelled at both the conference and national level and I'm sure we will now see the same standard among our runners. I would like to thank Associate Athletic Director Lynn Parkes and her committee for the outstanding work they did in both finding qualified candidates for this position and screening those applicants. Through their hard work, the University had an excellent pool of candidates to select from."
Robinson has already guided Tiger student-athletes to 12 C-USA titles, 19 school records and 45 all-conference performances in his previous four years as an assistant coach. He has also guided three student-athletes to NCAA Championship appearances, with two earning All-America honors.
In just his first year back at his alma mater, Robinson coached three individuals to five C-USA titles, five school records and three regional qualifiers in four events. He also guided former Tiger Gaute Myklebust to the 2003 C-USA Male Outdoor Athlete of the Year, while Lisa-Marie Hyman won a C-USA Championship and earned an Academic All-America honor.
In 2004, Robinson's field student-athletes again filled the season with accolades, as Myklebust was again named Co-Athlete of the Year, adding three conference titles and an NCAA Mid-East Regional discus championship and setting the school record in the process. That finish was the highest-ever finish for a Memphis thrower at the NCAA meet and made Myklebust the first Memphis All-American in over 20 years.
On the women's side in Robinson's second year, Hyman continued the record-setting, placing second in the triple jump at the conference indoor meet, setting a Memphis record in the process. The field event athletes also set two other school records in the heptathlon and the pentathlon.
In 2005, Robinson guided Tiger field athletes to six school records, three C-USA titles, four runner-up finishes, a C-USA Freshman of the Year honor, two NCAA Championship appearances and the women's program's first-ever All-American accolade. Thrower Gail Lee was responsible for many of those accomplishments, as she broke indoor records in both the shot and the weight throw, won the C-USA Championship in the weight throw and a runner-up honor in the shot. Lee also qualified for the NCAA Indoor Championships and earned All-America honors in the shot put. J.D. Erickson and Janon Busby each added conference titles and runner-up finishes, while Chen Edri broke three school records and earned the title of C-USA Female Freshman of the Year. Hyman put up a runner-up finish in the outdoor triple jump, in addition to making her first trip to the NCAA Championships.
This past season, Robinson's athletes added six more U of M records, two C-USA titles and four runner-up finishes, while qualifying seven field-event competitors for the NCAA Mid-East Regionals. Lee made her second trip to the NCAA Championships in the shot put after winning the league championship in the event, while Erickson picked up his second-consecutive C-USA crown in the indoor shot put and finished second in the event outdoors. Brandon Winbush, Sivan Aballi and Susan King also added runner-up finishes in the long jump, discus and shot put, respectively.
The student-athletes Robinson has coached have also been successful off the track with Myklebust earning Co-SIDA Academic All-District honors and the C-USA Scholar Athlete award in 2004, while Hyman was a Co-SIDA Academic All-America selection in 2004 and 2005 and was one of just six C-USA athletes to earn a C-USA Post-Graduate Scholarship. In addition, Aballi and Edri were recently named to the 2006 ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District teams.
Prior to his return to Memphis, Robinson was the assistant track and field coach at SIU-Carbondale, where he coached eight individual Missouri Valley Conference champions, who won a total of 13 titles and set three conference and six school records. He also guided nine NCAA qualifiers, two All-Americans and coached Brian Miller of New York Athletic Club to a fifth place finish in the USATF national championships. Miller finished the year with a ranking of fifth in the United States and 15th in the world.
Robinson is no stranger to claiming honors and championships. As a sophomore, Robinson was named the C-USA Athlete of the Year at the indoor championships after winning the weight throw and finishing second in the shot put and provisionally-qualifying for the NCAA Indoor Championships in both events. A four-time C-USA athlete of the week award winner, Robinson qualified for the NCAA Outdoor Championships in 1997 and 1998 in seven combined events, including the weight throw, hammer throw, shot put and discus, competing in the shot both years. As a senior, he won C-USA indoor titles in the weight throw and hammer. He currently still owns school records in the indoor shot put (59-3.00") and the hammer (191-09").
In 1998, Robinson was named the National Strength and Condition Association (NSCA) strength and conditioning Athlete of the Year, and an NSCA All-American. That season, he finished 13th in the shot put at the NCAA championships with an effort of 57-4.25". He also qualified for Olympic trials in 2000 in both the shot put and weightlifting.
In 2003, Robinson gained certification in CPR, AED and as an AFAA professional personal trainer. He has since become a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) by the NSCA.
Robinson and his wife, Dawn, have two children, Sebastian and Tristan. They reside in Southaven, Miss.