With a resume that features a number of stops at both the collegiate and professional level, Tommie Robinson is in his first season as the Texas running backs coach. Robinson spent the 2013 season as the passing game coordinator/RB coach at USC. Prior to that, he coached running backs with the Arizona Cardinals for three years (2010-12). A captain on Troy State's 1984 NCAA Division II national title team, Robinson also coached running backs at Miami (2007-09) and Memphis (2006), receivers and tight ends at Georgia Tech (2002-05), and was a wide receivers coach/offensive assistant with the Dallas Cowboys (1998-2000). Here is a Q&A with Robinson: What made the Texas job attractive to you? The program has so much rich tradition and it's an historic program. A lot of people would embrace the opportunity to be here. When you throw Charlie Strong into the equation, a man of his magnitude and the things that he's accomplished, that made it even more special. Charlie and I are friends and it was a lot more enticing to come here. When Charlie called me and extended the invitation, I was thrilled about the opportunity. Why do you have such a diverse offensive coaching background? When I was at the University of Arkansas, coach [Kenny] Rucker [former UT running backs coach and current staff member] became my mentor. One thing Coach Rucker told me was to try to expand yourself a little bit when you're young and coach different positions to gain more knowledge and help you down the road. That was one thing that he told me and I tried to do that. I've had the opportunity to coach wide receivers in college and the National Football League, and coached running backs in college and in the National Football league and coach tight ends. I've never been an offensive line coach but I've spent a lot of time with the offensive line and have just tried to make myself a well-rounded coach. It's always great to be a little more flexible. With as complex as things have gotten offensively and defensively, it helps to be knowledgeable of the whole offense and not just your position. Do you have preference to coaching college or in the NFL? I look at it as football. There are a lot of good football coaches everywhere. You go look at some of these high schools now they've got some really good football coaches. There are excellent coaches at the collegiate level. There are excellent coaches at the professional level. I look at it as football. With college you have to be a different type of coach. It takes a special person to be a college coach because the key thing about college football is recruiting. That's the lifeblood of your program. If you're not a good recruiter, then you're not going to be a good college coach. You don't have to have the ability to be a good recruiter and be a good high school coach. You can be a great high school coach and not have the ability to be a great recruiter. You can be a great professional coach and not have the ability to be a great recruiter, but you can't do it in college In the National Football League, players are grown men and they have families and they have kids. They go home every night to their families and come to work every day. It's a different deal but at the end of the day it's the same. Once you get out on the field it's all the same, I'm a coach and you're a player. When I was in Dallas with the receivers, Deion Sanders was one of our receivers. Michael Irvin and Deion Sanders. I got to coach these guys. These guys were future Pro Bowlers. I had to treat them the same way I treated Calvin Johnson when he was a player at Georgia Tech. I've been fortunate to have that experience and now I know how to work through those situations. I've coached in the National Football League and I put that hat on. When I'm coaching in college, I put that hat on. Now I'm working with 18-year olds. When I put that National Football League hat on, I'm dealing with 22-year old rookies or 32-year old veterans.
Q&A with Running Backs Coach Tommie Robinson
TexasSports.com | Jan 28