Bobby Robinson to Retire as Clemson AD
CLEMSON -- Clemson University Athletic Director Bobby Robinson has
notified President James F. Barker that he plans to retire as
athletic director effective June 30, 2002. Robinson has been at
Clemson since 1970 and is completing his 17th year as director of
"This has been an unbelievable privilege to work at Clemson
University. Few people have the opportunity to do the job they always
wanted to do in the place they always wanted to be," Robinson said.
"I will always be grateful to the Clemson family for that privilege.
However, nothing lasts forever, and I believe one person doing this
job for 17 years at one institution is long enough."
Barker said the university will miss Robinson's leadership and service.
"Bobby has helped build one of the nation's best athletic
programs, and the fact that this position will be so attractive to
candidates is Bobby's legacy," he said. "We will miss his talents and
his dedication, and I would sincerely love for him to continue to
have a role at Clemson beyond June, but I know that he has other
options to weigh. All of us wish him the very best."
Robinson said he had been weighing the decision for months,
and had discussed the possibility with Barker as far back as August.
"This is not a rash decision," he said, noting that he had finalized
the decision on January 15 in order to give the university adequate
time to conduct a national search for his successor.
Barker said he personally will oversee the search for a new
athletic director, with assistance from NCAA Faculty Representative
Cecil Huey and Vice President for Advancement Neill Cameron. Barker
said he would like to have a successor named before Robinson leaves
"I don't know of many people who are fortunate to work at one
institution for 32 years and be able to leave on their own terms,"
Robinson said. "While there is never a perfect time to leave, the
most appropriate and best time to leave is when things are going
well. We are operating in the black financially, IPTAY is at record
levels, Tiger Pride is doing an excellent job, there are no academic
problems, no NCAA compliance issues, and our projects are on
schedule. We have completed the NCAA self study and Southern
Association of Colleges and Schools accreditation reports, and our
overall athletic program is in great shape and doing well
"Clemson is positioned to achieve great things both academically
and athletically. I am confident that new and fresh leadership will
enhance our ability to achieve the goals of the university," he said.
"I want to personally thank President Barker for his support of the
athletic program. With Jim Barker at the helm, we are in great hands.
I will be our greatest fan and supporter, and I look forward to
exciting things at Clemson in the years ahead."
Athletic accomplishments during Bobby Robinson's tenure at Clemson
*In 16 years as athletic director (1985-86 academic year through the
2000-01 academic year) Clemson has won 56 Atlantic Coast Conference
*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.
*Clemson programs have had a combined 143 top 25 seasons, an average
of 8.9 top 25 seasons per year. That includes 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
*Clemson's sports program had a winning overall record in all 16
years in dual match/meet competition, with an average winning
percentage of 64 percent.
*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.
*16 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.
*Clemson's women's sports programs have flourished under Robinson.
Seven of the nine women's programs have had a top 10 final ranking,
including four that have finished in the top five. That includes the
women's indoor track and women's soccer teams in 2000-01. The
women's basketball team has been to the NCAA Tournament 13 of the
last 14 years. The women's soccer program has been to the NCAA
Tournament and had a final top 15 ranking every year of its existence.
* Clemson's football team has been to a postseason bowl 14 of the 17
seasons and the men's basketball team has been to postseason play 12
of the 16 years. That includes 1996-97 when Clemson finished eighth
in the final poll.
*Academically, Clemson has reached a point where 60 percent of the
student athletes are members of the academic honor roll and the GPA
ratio 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
*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.
*Robinson has represented Clemson nationally on many NCAA committees,
including the NCAA Special Events Committee, the NCAA Football Issues
Committee and the NCAA Men's Golf Committee.
*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.
*Clemson fund-raising has reached all-time highs, in particular
through the IPTAY Endowment program. Clemson raised over $16 million
dollars last year, among the top figures in the nation. This allows
Clemson to fully fund its sports program.
*Supervised the beginning of Clemson's history Tiger Pride Campaign,
an undertaking that will enhance all of Clemson's athletic facilities.
*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