Desmond Robinson is in his fifth year at Notre Dame as running back coach, after serving the previous two years in the same position at West Virginia.
In 2001, the Irish boast one of the top tailback trios in the country in junior second-team preseason All-American Julius Jones and seniors Tony Fisher and Terrance Howard.
Last season, the Irish ranked 14th in the nation in rushing average at 213.5 yards a game. Over its last six games, Notre Dame averaged over 250 yards including an impressive 380 yards against Boston College. Against the Eagles, Fisher rushed for 196 yards, the 11th best total in Irish history, while Jones recorded three 100-yard rushing games in '00 and Terrance Howard set a Mountaineer Field record at West Virginia with a 80-yard touchdown run. Irish tailbacks also held on to the football in '00, in helping set an NCAA record with only eight turnovers (four fumbles) all season.
Robinson also worked with the kick returners in 2000, which saw Joey Getherall earn fourth-team cbssportsline.com All-American honors after ranking eighth in the country in punt returns at 16.33 yards a return with two touchdowns. Julius Jones earned cnnsi.com first-team All-America honors as a kick returner after ranking fourth in the nation at 28.47 yards a return and one touchdown.
In 1998, Robinson helped tailback Autry Denson become Notre Dame’s all-time leading rusher with 4,318 yards as Denson had his third-straight 1,000-yard rushing season. Denson, who rushed for 100 yards in six games in ’98 and eight in ’97, was selected in the seventh round of the National Football League draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and now plays for the Miami Dolphins.
Robinson’s ’98 running back corps helped the Irish rank 16th nationally in rushing offense at 212.5 yards per game.
In ’96 Robinson helped Don Nehlen’s Mountaineers to an overall 8-4 mark and a Gator Bowl appearance while tutoring first-team all-BIG EAST tailback Amos Zereoue, who gained 1,035 rushing yards to earn BIG EAST Rookie-of-the-Year honors.
The Atlanta, Ga., native also coached at West Virginia from 1988 through ’91, working with the defensive line the first three years, then coaching running backs in the last of those four seasons. During that period he coached Mountaineer teams that faced Notre Dame in the ’89 Fiesta Bowl and earned a Gator Bowl berth against Clemson to conclude the ’89 season.
Among the Mountaineer players he coached were ’88 All-America defensive tackle Chris Parker, NFL first-round draft pick Renaldo Turnbull, all-BIG EAST tackles Mike Fox (’88 and ’89), who was selected in the second round of the NFL draft by the New York Jets, Pat Marlett, 1989 draft pick of the Jets, Jim Gray (’88 through ’90) and all-conference tailback Adrian Murrell (’91).
Robinson spent three seasons at Tulane from 1992-94, serving as assistant head coach and coaching the defensive linemen the first two years and inside linebackers the final season in New Orleans.
An assistant at Dartmouth in 1987 coaching inside linebackers, Robinson spent five seasons at Connecticut beginning in 1982, coaching the defensive line and serving as recruiting coordinator. He began his coaching career at West Fulton (Ga.) High School in 1978, then spent one season as part-time defensive back coach at Pittsburgh in 1981 before moving to Connecticut.
Robinson played linebacker and defensive end at Pittsburgh, playing on the Panthers’ 1976 national championship team and participating in the ’75 Sun, ’76 Sugar, ’77 Gator and ’78 Tangerine Bowls. Bob Davie was a graduate assistant coach on the ’77 Pittsburgh team on which Robinson played.
Born Sept. 29, 1956, in Atlanta, Robinson is a ’78 Pittsburgh graduate with a degree in management. He and his wife Pearlena are parents of two children, Jason and Ashley.
The Desmond Robinson Coaching File
|Year ||School ||Assignment|
|1978 ||West Fulton (Ga.) High School ||Assistant Coach|
|1981 ||Pittsburgh (11-1, Sugar Bowl) ||Defensive Backs|
|1982 ||Connecticut ||Defensive Line, Recruiting Coordinator|
|1983 ||Connecticut ||Defensive Line, Recruiting Coordinator|
|1984 ||Connecticut ||Defensive Line, Recruiting Coordinator|
|1985 ||Connecticut ||Defensive Line, Recruiting Coordinator|
|1986 ||Connecticut (8-3) ||Defensive Line, Recruiting Coordinator|
|1987 ||Dartmouth ||Inside Linebackers|
|1988 ||West Virginia (11-1, Fiesta Bowl) ||Defensive Line|
|1989 ||West Virginia (8-3-1, Gator Bowl) ||Defensive Line|
|1990 ||West Virginia ||Defenisve Line|
|1991 ||West Virginia ||Running Backs|
|1992 ||Tulane ||Assistant Head Coach, Defensive Line|
|1993 ||Tulane ||Assistant Head Coach, Defensive Line|
|1994 ||Tulane ||Assistant Head Coach, Inside Linebackers|
|1995 ||West Virginia ||Running Backs|
|1996 ||West Virginia (8-4, Gator Bowl) ||Running Backs|
|1997 ||Notre Dame (7-6, Independence Bowl) ||Running Backs|
|1998 ||Notre Dame (9-3, Gator Bowl) ||Running Backs|
|1999 ||Notre Dame ||Running Backs|
|2000 ||Notre Dame (9-3, Fiesta Bowl) ||Running Backs|