Robbins hanging up his whistle
Veteran Virginia Union head basketball coach Dave Robbins announced Tuesday at a press conference at the school that he is retiring after a legendary 30-year career.
Before a crowd of nearly 200 well-wishers including a group of former and current players, Robbins said it was time for him to move on.
"It's a great time to do some other things," a gracious Robbins said after thanking the university for the trust it placed in him and thanking all his players and coaches. "Thirty (his years at VUU) is a good round number."
A very successful Richmond (Va.) area high school coach who became the first white coach in the history of the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association when he took over at VUU in 1978, Robbins has won 713 games, a record 13 CIAA Tournament titles and three NCAA Div. II national championships (1980, 1992, 2005) during his illustrious tenure. His team lost in the 2006 national championship game, his only national title game loss, in a bid to win back-to-back titles.
Robbins, the dean of CIAA coaches, is the 26th coach in NCAA men's basketball history in any division and the fifth coach in Division II to reach the 700-win plateau, reaching that mark this past season. His winning percentage is a remarkable .786 (713-194). He is also the only coach to win national titles in three different decades and only the third with three Div. II crowns overall.
Willard Coker, a long-time assistant at VUU, was named as Robbins' successor. Coker who played for Robbins on the 1980 championship team, has been an assistant at VUU for 23 years.
"Now, Willard gets to be the SOB and I get to be their best friend," Robbins said of their relationships with VUU players.
Robbins said he will do fundraising for the school and support the program in any way he can but won't interfere with Coker's running of the team.
© 2008 Azeez Communications, Inc.