RUSTON, La. (AP) - Former Grambling coach Eddie Robinson, who created a football powerhouse at a small, black college in northern Louisiana that turned out hundreds of NFL players, has died. He was 88.
The soft-spoken coach spent nearly 60 years at Grambling State University, where he set a standard for victories with 408 wins and nearly every season saw his top players drafted by NFL teams.
Doug Williams, a Super Bowl MVP quarterback was one of them. Williams said Robinson died shortly before midnight Tuesday. Robinson had been admitted to Lincoln General Hospital on Tuesday afternoon.
"For the Grambling family this is a very emotional time," Williams said Wednesday. "But I'm thinking about Eddie Robinson the man, not in today-time, but in the day and what he meant to me and to so many people."
Robinson's career spanned 11 presidents, several wars and the civil-rights movement. His older records are what people will remember: In 57 years, Robinson compiled a 408-165-15. Until John Gagliardi of St. John's, Minn., topped Robinson's victory mark four years ago, Robinson was known as the winningest coach in all of college football.
"The real record I have set for over 50 years is the fact that I have had one job and one wife," Robinson said.
More than 200 of his players went on to play in the NFL.
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