Former Williamston coach to be honored by the NCADA

Published 3:20 am Wednesday, January 17, 2007

By By KEVIN TRAVIS, Sports Editor
Harold Robinson can talk about football for hours on end.
The Washington native, a former coach and athletic director at Williamston High School, has a gift for gab. But the friendly, outgoing Robinson was left virtually speechless when he heard the news that he was going to be inducted into the North Carolina Athletic Directors Association Hall of Fame.
Robinson will be joined by Morehead City’s Ralph Holloway and Dudley’s Doyle Whitfield as members of the 13th class, who will be inducted during a banquet March 27 at the Wilmington Hilton Riverside. The Hall of Fame will grow to 58 with their membership.
Kevin Roach, a former player of Robinson’s at Williamston and a former member of the ECU football team, said he was happy for his former coach.
Elton Coffield, a former player of Robinson’s who is now a standout on the Mount Olive College basketball team, had nothing but kinds words to say about Robinson.
The NCADA Hall of Fame was established to recognize achievement and excellence for athletic administration. A permanent display honoring the athletic directors’ Hall of Fame is located in the offices of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association in Chapel Hill.
It will be a week to remember for Robinson during his enshrinement. He is expecting his first grandchild on March 25.
While his son, Will, was going to give Robinson’s induction, Van Pennell will now do that honor.
Pennell, currently the President of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association, was the first person Robinson hired at Williamston High School.
Both Robinson and his wife are natives of Washington.
Robinson was one of the state’s most successful high school football coaches and athletic directors before he moved to the collegiate ranks, where he is currently the Director of High School Relations at East Carolina University.
A graduate of Washington High School and ECU, Robinson compiled a 239-89 record as the head football coach of the Williamston Tigers. During his 25-year career as football coach and athletic director, Robinson guided his Tigers to two NCHSAA state championships. He also led Williamston to four runner-up finishes, seven conference championships and 16 playoff appearances.
Robinson earned several accolades throughout his career, including being named Associated Press Coach of the Year in 1999 and Daily News Coach of the Year in 1982, 1995, 1998, 1999 and 2002.
Robinson has been instrumental with the success of the Shrine Bowl. He led the North Carolina team to a 28-0 win over South Carolina in the 2002 Shrine Bowl.
On the administrative side of things, Robinson directed 25 regional and sectional tournaments for the NCHSAA. He also served on the NCHSAA football advisory committee.
Honors bestowed upon Robinson from the NCSHAA include Special Person Award (1995 and 1997), Outstanding Male Coach (1989/regional 1988), People’s Choice Award (2000) and the Citation Award (1994).
Robinson, who was President of the North Carolina Football Coaches Association from 1994-95, served on the Board of Director’s for the NCADA from 1985 to 1988 and from 1991 to 1994.
Throughout all his years of coaching and being an athletic director, Robinson said that kids always came first.
Robinson surely enjoyed the wins, helping to build solid programs and new facilities, but it’s the kids who will always leave a mark with him.
Except on March 27, it will finally be about Robinson.