Steve Robinson Head Coach – Fifth Season at Florida State Career Record: 98-87 (.528)
Many words can be used when describing Steve Robinson, who is entering his fifth year as Florida State’s head men’s basketball coach.
Teacher. Organizer. Achiever. Coach. Father. Friend. Many more words could be used to describe Robinson but they all would say the same thing.
Robinson is the right man for the Florida State.
His vision and abilities, along with his hard work and dedication, lead those in the know to reach the same conclusion: Robinson and Florida State are a perfect match.
The Robinson coaching resume includes 14 winning seasons, 10 NCAA Tournament appearances, an average of more than 18 wins per season and, just as importantly, numerous academic all-conference and honor roll selections for his players.
Robinson’s tenure at Florida State has seen competitive teams, an NCAA Tournament appearance, success against nationally ranked teams and players who have gone on to be successful when their basketball career ended. He led the Seminoles to the second round of the NCAA Tournament in his first season at Florida State (1998) and has directed the Seminoles to numerous victories over nationally ranked teams. In 1999, Robinson led the Seminoles to a victory over then No. 21 and Final Four participant North Carolina. In 2001, Florida State repeated the feat as Robinson guided the Seminoles to a victory over then No. 17-ranked and Final Four participant Maryland.
While at Tulsa, Robinson posted consecutive 20-win seasons and guided the Golden Hurricane to the NCAA Tournament both years. His first season at the school produced a 22-8 record, the school’s first Missouri Valley Conference tournament title in 11 years and an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Robinson became only the second Tulsa coach to take the program to the NCAA Tournament in his first year.
Robinson Took Tulsa to the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive season in 1997 as the Golden Hurricane fashioned a 24-10 record. The 24 wins was the second most in school history. For his efforts, Robinson was the Coach of the Year in the WAC’s Mountain Division.
Working to reach new levels – and then raising the bar – is a Robinson trait. During his first season at Florida State, he helped put Florida State back on the national map in college basketball. Consider:
* The Seminoles played in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in five years, upset fifth-seed Texas Christian in the first round and advanced to the second round for the first time since 1993.
* Robinson became the first coach in Florida State history to lead the Seminoles to the NCAA Tournament in his first season.
* Florida State was ranked in the Associated Press poll for eight consecutive weeks and was ranked as high as no. 13. It marked the first time the Seminoles had been ranked since 1993.
* The Seminoles’ 84-79 win over defending national champion and No. 5 ranked Arizona on Dec. 23, 1997 equaled the highest ranked team ever defeated by Florida State at home and was the Seminoles’ first top-10 non-conference win in 11 years.
When Florida State Director of Athletics Dave Hart initially approached Robinson about taking the head coaching position at Florida State, Robinson said no – twice. But Hart persisted and he was able to hire one of the rising stars in the college coaching profession.
Robinson’s initial reason for withdrawing from consideration for the head coaching job at Florida State was one of the very reasons Hart pursued him so persistently.
“One big thing that I struggled with was being able to tell those players at Tulsa that I was leaving. I knew that would be very hard for me,” Robinson told Hart when he first declined the offer to coach the Seminoles.
Hart countered, “”That is exactly why we want you here, because of the fact that you are the kind of guy that cares so much about your players.”
Robinson’s words were backed up by his accomplishments at his previous coaching posts. His players at Tulsa enjoyed sensational academic success. Five of his Golden Hurricane players earned a grade point average of better than 3.0 each semester during his tenure at Tulsa. During his second season at Tulsa, two members of the starting lineup earned 4.0 grade point averages and team overall team GPA was 2.84. Michael Ruffin, a standout player on the court earned Academic All-America honors and earned his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering.
Robinson’s players at Tulsa also excelled on the court. In addition to Academic All-America honors, Ruffin was named the Defensive Player of the Year in the Western Athletic Conference. He is currently enjoying in his third season as a member of the Chicago Bulls. In addition, Robinson coached Eric Coley, an all-conference selection in the WAC, and Shea Seals who is the all-time leading scorer in Tulsa history. Seals played for the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers. Robinson was also responsible for recruiting Marcel Boyce, who led Tulsa to the NIT championship in 2001 and current Seminole Michael Joiner, who was named to the ACC All-Rookie team in 2001.
His first four seasons at Florida State have also produced the same results in the classroom. During the 2000-01 season, guard Ryan Lowery became the first student-athlete in the history of the program to earn a perfect 4.0 grade point average in consecutive semesters. Lowery’s outstanding individual achievement in the classroom allowed the team to earns its’ highest grade point average during Robinson’s tenure.
Robinson’s coaching star began to shine during his seven years as an assistant to Roy Williams at the University of Kansas.
Robinson helped build the Jayhawks into one of the nation’s most dominant college basketball programs. While Robinson was at Kansas, the program averaged 26 wins a season while making six trips to the NCAA Tournament. Kansas advanced to the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament during the 1991 and 1993 seasons. In addition, Kansas won four Big Eight Conference titles while Robinson was on the sideline.
In addition to his coaching duties at Kansas, Robinson served as the basketball program’s academic counselor. During that time, nine Jayhawk players were named to the Big Eight All-Academic team and 37 recorded grade point averages of 3.0 or better. Prior to joining Williams at Kansas, Robinson served as an assistant coach for two years at Cornell. The Big Red was 15-11 in 1987 and 17-10 in 1988. The 1987-88 Cornell team earned the school’s first NCAA Tournament berth in 34 years.
Robinson began his coaching career at Lincoln (Pa.) University where he spent the 1981-82 season. A one-year stint at Albemarle High School in Charlottesville, Va. followed during the 1982-83 season. He then returned to his alma mater, Radford University, for three seasons as an assistant coach (1983-85).
A native of Roanoke, Va., Robinson is a graduate of William Flemming High School. He attended Ferrum Junior College and played basketball for two years before transferring to Radford to finishing his collegiate eligibility. Robinson was Radford’s first athletic scholarship recipient and was team captain during the 1980 and 1981 seasons. He earned his bachelor’s degree in health and physical education in 1981 and a master’s degree in counseling in 1985, both from Radford.
Robinson is an established public speaker. He participated in the NCAA YES Clinic at the 1996 Final Four, where he was a guest clinician. Robinson has also lectured at coaching clinics in California, Missouri and Texas. He is a member of the National Association of Basketball Coaches recruiting committee. Robinson and his wife Lisa, have four children: daughters Shauna (21) and Kiaya (9) and sons Tarron (13) and Denzel (10).
Steve Robinson’s Collegiate Coaching Record Year Position School Record Post-Season 1983-84 Assistant Coach Radford 17-10 -- 1984-85 Assistant Coach Radford 16-12 -- 1985-86 Assistant Coach Radford 11-17 -- 1986-87 Assistant Coach Cornell 15-11 -- 1987-88 Assistant Coach Cornell 17-10 NCAA (First Round) 1988-89 Assistant Coach Kansas 19-12 -- 1989-90 Assistant Coach Kansas 30-5 NCAA ((Second Round) 1990-91 Assistant Coach Kansas 27-8 NCAA (Final Four) 1991-92 Assistant Coach Kansas 27-5 NCAA 1992-93 Assistant Coach Kansas 29-7 NCAA (Final Four) 1993-94 Assistant Coach Kansas 27-8 NCAA 1994-95 Assistant Coach Kansas 25-6 NCAA 1995-96 Head Coach Tulsa 22-8 NCAA (First Round) 1996-97 Head Coach Tulsa 24-10 NCAA (Second Round) 1997-98 Head Coach Florida State 18-14 NCAA (Second Round) 1998-99 Head Coach Florida State 13-17 -- 1999-00 Head Coach Florida State 12-17 -- 2000-01 Head Coach Florida State 9-21 --
NCAA Tournament in 1st Year at ACC School (current head coaches) Steve Robinson, Florida State, 1998, 2nd Round Paul Hewitt, Georgia Tech, 2001, 1st Round Matt Doherty, North Carolina, 2001, 2nd Round
Post Season Appearances in First 6 Years As a Head Coach Coach, School NCAA Tournament NIT Pete Gillen, Virginia 6 0 (First 6 Years) Skip Prosser, Wake 3 1 (First 6 Years) Steve Robinson, Fla. State 3 0 (First 6 Years) Paul Hewitt, Ga. Tech 2 1 (First 4 Years) Gary Williams, Maryland 1 3 (First 6 Years) Matt Doherty, N. Carolina 1 1 (First 2 Years) Herb Sendek, NC State 1 5 (First 6 Years) Larry Shyatt, Clemson 0 2 (First 3 Years) Mike Krzyzewski, Duke 0 2 (First 6 Years)
Coach of the Year Honors (Current ACC Coaches) Coach, School School Conference Year Mike Krzyzewski, Duke Duke Atlantic Coast 2001, 2000, 1999, 1997, 1986, 1984 Pete Gillen, Virginia Xavier Midwestern Collegiate 1993, 1990, 1988, 1986, 1994 Steve Robinson, Fla. State Tulsa Western Athletic (MD) 1997 Larry Shyatt, Clemson Wyoming Western Athletic (MD) 1998 Paul Hewitt, Ga. Tech Georgia Tech Atlantic Coast 2001 Herb Sendek, NC State Miami (Ohio) Mid American 1995 Skip Prosser, Wake Xavier Midwestern Collegiate 1995 Note – MD denotes Mountain Division of the Western Athletic Conference
Quickest to 100 Victories/Current ACC Coaches Coach, School Career Record (Years) Record after 6 Years Total Games To Reach 100 Pete Gillen, Virginia 327-165 (.665) (16) 141-49 Dec. 18, 1989/133 Gary Williams, Maryland 449-267 (.628) (23) 115-61 Dec. 3, 1983/149 Herb Sendek, NC State 149-94 (.613) (8) 116-70 Nov. 21, 1998/156 Mike Krzyzewski, Duke 606-223 (.731) (26) 90-72 Feb. 24, 1982/187 Steve Robinson, Fla. State 98-87 (.530) (6) 98-87 At Florida State, 2002 Paul Hewitt, Ga. Tech 83-40 (.675) (4) 83-40 (4 years) At Georgia Tech, 2002 Larry Shyatt, Clemson 61-63 (.491) (4) 61-63 (4 Years) At Clemson, 2004 Matt Doherty, N. Carolina 48-22 (.686) (2) 48-22 (2 Years) At North Carolina, 2005 Skip Prosser, Wake 165-78 (.679) (8) 123-56 1999, Xavier
League Titles To His Head Coaching Credit Coach, School School Conference Year Mike Krzyzewski, Duke Duke Atlantic Coast 2001, 2000, 1999, 1992, 1988, 1986 Pete Gillen, Virginia Xavier Midwestern Collegiate 1993, 1990, 1988, 1986, 1994 Skip Prosser, Wake Xavier Midwestern Collegiate Xavier Atlantic 10 1998 Xavier Metro Atlantic Athletic 1994 Steve Robinson, Fla. State Tulsa Missouri Valley 1997 Paul Hewitt, Ga. Tech Siena Metro Atlantic Athletic 1999