Heart of Louisiana: Grambling

One of the most successful coaches in football hails from Grambling State University in north Louisiana.
Published: Dec. 18, 2022 at 4:06 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 18, 2022 at 11:15 PM CST
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - One of the most successful coaches in football hails from Grambling State University in north Louisiana, and you can visit a museum dedicated to the remarkable accomplishments of Coach Eddie Robinson.

His life began as the son of a sharecropper near the small town of Jackson, Louisiana. In 1941, he started coaching football at Grambling State College, and over the next 55 years, he became one of the winningest coaches in college football with 408 victories.

“This is a replica of coach’s office at home,” said Carolyn Collier.

Carolyn Collier manages the Eddie Robinson Museum at Grambling,

“We talk about those 200 plus players that played in the NFL, but there are hundreds and hundreds who went out and succeeded. Being good men, good family men. good workers making a great life for themselves and their families,” Collier said.

Coach Robinson broke records, he broke barriers.

“We have a sign for Holiday Inn, and that’s because they were one of the first chains that allowed us to stay there,” Collier said.

“When they’re getting ready to travel they had to dress with coat and tie. He said carry yourself in such a way that people want to know who you are,” Wilber Ellis said.

Wilbert Ellis was a long-time baseball coach at Grambling and pushed to create this museum.

When Eddie Robinson decided to start coaching and went looking for a job there were a lot of colleges he couldn’t get a job at because of the color of his skin.

“Well yeah but you know Eddie always said I need to be given a chance no matter where it is. but he was a drum major for peace but he also did something like Martin Luther King. He was nonviolent but he got things done,” Ellis said.

As you walk through this museum and learn more about Robinson’s accomplishments, you realize he coached far more than football.

“I want you to be number one. I want you to be the best not only in athletics not only in football, baseball, basketball, but I want you to develop yourself to become a number one individual, a great citizen. There was no other American like Eddie Robinson,” Ellis said.

A coach who showed his players how to win on the field, and how to win in life.

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