New Louisiana museum pays tribute to legendary black coach





When Eddie Robinson was growing up here in Louisiana’s capital city about 80 years ago, he discovered the only way a black person infatuated with football could attend a game at the state university: He showed up at 5 a.m. on Saturdays to clean the stadium.

To take his first job as a football coach, in 1941, Mr. Robinson had to travel several hundred miles north, to a segregated teachers’ college in an unincorporated hamlet called Grambling. Mail arrived by train, and students helped harvest peaches and sweet potatoes from the college farm....

Yet Mr. Robinson worked and lived nowhere else for the rest of his life. In 55 years of coaching the Grambling Tigers, he amassed 408 victories and an .844 winning percentage and sent more than 200 players to the pros. He also personally oversaw their regular attendance at class and church.

And now, three years since Mr. Robinson died at age 88, the state that once subjugated him has put its money and imprimatur on a museum devoted to his life and legacy. Some 900 coaches, admirers, and former players, including the head coaches of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Notre Dame, are streaming into Grambling for the official opening of the Eddie G. Robinson Museum on Saturday....


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