Cover image for Never before, never again : the stirring autobiography of Eddie Robinson, the winningest coach in the history of college football
Never before, never again : the stirring autobiography of Eddie Robinson, the winningest coach in the history of college football
Robinson, Eddie.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin's Press, 1999.
Physical Description:
xviii, 268 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 25 cm
General Note:
"Thomas Dunne books."
Personal Subject:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
GV939.R58 A3 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
GV939.R58 A3 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Black History Non-Circ

On Order



Franklin Roosevelt was America's President when Eddie Robinson coached his first game. Fifty-seven years later, Robison left Grambling as the winningest coach in the history of college football. Initially a coach for a segregated society, Eddie Robinson has helped football transcend race in the America he loves and treasures. Yet institutionalized racial barriers kept Robinson a secret from white America for more than 25 years until Howard Cosell did an ABC special on Grambling in the late 1960s. Outside of the world of sport, white America still barely knows him. In the African-American community, he is very likely the best-known coach in America. He is surely the most beloved.Never Before, Never Again chronicles Coach Robinson's life and his time at Grambling in vivid detail. He overcame all those things that might have predicted that it was not possible for the son of a sharecropper and a domestic worker to become a success. He got a master's degree, became the president of the American Football Coaches Association, and helping thousands of young boys become outstanding men. More than wins, they may be his greatest legacy.But as much as Coach Robinson's memoir is about sports, it's a social history history as well. The book is a lens through which readers can see the challeges and turmoil of the civil rights movements from the perspective of a sports figure who worked the playing fields of a black campus while caring deeply about the stakes and outcome of the struggle . This book places the hard-news events of the day in the time frame of the trails of Robinson's Grambling teams of that era. Also included arethe thoughts of other coaches (both college and NFL) on Coach Robinson, as well as those of national leaders like Reverend Jesse Jackson, M.J. "Mike" Foster, the governor of Lousiana, and President Clinton.Never Before, Never Again stands as lasting testimony to the work of a true American hero.

Author Notes

Eddie G. Robinson spent 57 years as the head coach of Grambling University. He won an unprecedented 408 college football games and sent 220 players to the NFL. He was recently inducted into the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame. He lives in Grambling, LA. Richard E. Lapchick was selected as one of the "100 Most powerful people in sport" by The Sporting News. Lapchick brought his experience as a civil rights activist, scholar, and author to Northeastern University where he founded and has directed the Center for the Study of Sport in Society since 1984. He has written nine books and is a regular columnist for The Sporting News. Lapchick serves as an advisor to the Reverend Jesse Jackson and the Rainbow Commission on Fairness in Sport and to the players assocations of the NBA and NFL on the issue of racial hiring practices in sport.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Robinson was the head football coach at Grambling University in Louisiana for 57 years and won more than 400 games. More than 200 Grambling players made it to the National Football League. In this genuinely inspirational autobiography, the son of a sharecropper recounts his journey from the humblest of beginnings to the pinnacle of his profession. Race is inevitably a big part of that story, but Robinson insists throughout on looking at the hardships he endured as a result of racism as nothing more than roadblocks to be overcome by effort and dedication. It was that philosophy that he instilled in his players and that he believes is behind their success both on and off the field. Robinson brings a hard-won authenticity to his old-school beliefs, and he wins over the reader just as thoroughly as he does his players. Make racism look foolish, he preached, by working a little harder and being a little smarter. Inspirational without ever being saccharine, Robinson tells his remarkable story with humor, intelligence, and compassion. --Wes Lukowsky

Library Journal Review

At Grambling State University Robinson was considered the "winningest coach in college football history." Here, he traces his 57 years at the school, showing how "dedication and hard work despite seemingly unconquerable obstacles" made him successful. (See review p. 92.) (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.