James Terry says, "One of the things that Coach Robinson was legendary for was that he had one wife and one school. His wife, Dorris is still alive today, and his school, Grambling holds the greatest record for victories for winningest coach in the United States." James Terry worked with "Coach" for 15 years as a photographer. He's captured images of "Coach" in his element. In one, he's doing his signature grab, demanding focus. Terry keeps the images to ensure "Coach's" part in history is not forgotten.
Terry says, "During the civil rights period, he had to deal with some of the other problems of the era, but he did it in a manner where he felt if he created good citizens and good people, they could rise above any of the other problems that existed during that period." And Terry's own history is deeply rooted in Robinson's coaching. He says, "It appears as though Coach Robinson had introduced my mother to my father and so instead of Coach Robinson just being a person who knew me as a photographer, he knew me as being the person who introduced my mother to my father, so he's almost like Uncle Robinson."
He was like an uncle to so many throughout his 57-year career at Grambling State University. "He brought generation after generation of young football players and young athletes in and brought them to Grambling and taught them, educated them, and sent them out better people," Terry says. He even coached his own successor, Doug Williams, who was the first black quarterback to ever win the Superbowl. Williams went on to follow his mentor and coach at Grambling and is now with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
According to Terry, "The story never ends about Eddie Robinson." He says, "It was about creating exceptional individuals and Coach Robinson was extremely good at that." Terry says "Coach's" hands are still pulling out inspiration around the globe. He says, "His players are all over the world. He left a small piece of himself with everyone that came in contact with him. Every player has a small piece of Eddie Robinson."