Clemson, SC-Bobby Robinson, who has served Clemson University for
over 30 years, including the most recent 17 as athletic director ,
was presented the Order of the Palmetto in the Governor's Office at
the State Capital in Columbia on Wednesday, April 17, 2002. The
Order of the Palmetto was presented by Billy Boan.
The Order of the Palmetto was initiated in 1981 by Governor
John West. The award recognizes important people who have helped the
state of South Carolina. It is the highest award that can be
presented to civilian resident of the state. Robinson is the first
employee of the athletic department to be presented the Order of the
Palmetto since Bob Bradley received the honor on October 28, 2000.
Robinson announced on Feb. 12 that he would retire July 1,
2002. He has been Clemson's Athletic Director since 1985, but has
worked for the Athletic Department since 1973 when he worked in
administration and served as the Clemson golf coach.
In 17 years as athletic director Clemson has won 57 Atlantic
Coast Conference Championships. Nine years in his 16 seasons as
Athletic Director, Clemson's all-around sports program has ranked in
the Top 25 nationally, including three top 10 finishes. (This
academic year has not yet been completed).
Under his direction, Clemson programs have had a combined 143
top 25 seasons, an average of 8.9 top 25 seasons per year. That
included 11 last year, the programs strongest showing in 10 years.
Clemson has had 382 All-Americans during the era, an average of 24
per year. That includes 31 last year, second highest number in
All 19 of Clemson's sports programs have had a top 20
national ranking at one time or another and 12 different sports
programs have had a top five ranking at one time or another,
including three programs (golf, soccer and baseball) that have been
ranked #1 during the regular season. Sixteen of the 19 programs
have had at least one final top 10 ranking during the last 16 years,
including 10 that have had a top five NCAA Tournament finish or final
ranking. Clemson has had 25 individual National Championship
performances in its history. Twenty-three of those have come since
Robinson became Athletic Director in March of 1985.
Academically, Clemson has reached a point where 60 percent of
the student athletes are members of the academic honor roll and the
GPA margin between the general student body and student athletes is
just two one-hundreths of a point. Seven different sports have had
an academic All-American the last 10 years. Clemson is the only
program in the nation to have two first-team Academic All-America
football players each of the last two years.
Robinson opened Vickery Hall in 1991. It was the first
stand-alone facility for student-athlete enrichment in the nation, a
concept many schools have copied. Since it opened, the GPA of
Clemson student-athletes has risen from 2.33 to 2.80. Under his
direction, the athletic department has contributed nearly $4 million
to academic scholarships for non-athletes and other projects that
benefit the general student body.
As Clemson's Golf coach between 1974-83, he set the
foundation of a men's golf program that is now ranked among the top
five in the country on a consistent basis. He brought Clemson its
first ACC Golf Championship in the sport (1982) and first top five
NCAA Tournament (1983).