June 28, 2002
Clemson, SC – Outgoing Clemson Athletic Director Bobby Robinson received one more surprise honor on Friday, his final day in the office in the Jervey Athletic Center. After work he was escorted to the golf practice facility where he was met by many Clemson administrators, past and present.
At a private ceremony, the facility was renamed the Bobby Robinson Golf Practice Facility. Robinson retires June 30, which is a Sunday, so Friday was his final day in the office running the Clemson Athletic Department. The facility opened two years ago and was the first step in Clemson’s Tiger Pride facilities renovation plans. It was a fitting ceremony because it was Robinson who put the Clemson golf program on solid footing when he was head coach between 1974-83. He led the Clemson team to its first NCAA team tournament appearance in 1980, its first ACC championship in 1982 and its first top five national finish (1983). He left the coaching ranks to concentrate on athletic administration. Current Clemson head coach Larry Penley has continued the tradition, leading the program to 19 more NCAA Tournament appearances, including this year’s number-three national finish.
Earlier this semester, Robinson was presented The Order of the Palmetto by the State of South Carolina for his contributions to the state and Clemson University. It was also announced that he will be inducted into the Clemson Athletic Hall of Fame next fall.
Robinson served as Clemson’s Athletic Director from March of 1985 until this weekend. His service to Clemson dates back 30 years when he first came to work in the housing office. In his 17 years as athletic director Clemson won 56 ACC Championships and had 151 top 25 seasons, including nine this year. Sixteen of the 19 programs had at least one final top 10 national ranking. In terms of academics, he designed the concept and building of Vickery Hall, Clemson’s student-athlete learning center, a concept that has been copied nationwide. The grade point average of Clemson student-athletes has risen from 2.30 to 2.85 since it opened in 1991.
Terry Don Phillips, formerly of Oklahoma State, takes over for Robinson on Monday.
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