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Ken Stallings
1st July 2008, 11:36
I doubt there's ever been a coach and athletic director who has earned more universal admiration than Les Robinson. Everywhere the man went he was hailed as a true gentleman of character.

http://www.newsobserver.com/sports/story/1126286.html

He went to the Citadel despite enjoying great success as the AD at NC State. But you knew something was different about Les when he resigned as head coach admitting that his own performance wasn't up to his standards. He left the bench and became an excellent AD.

Les never once publicly complained, but everyone knew his assigned task as head coach after Valvano was an impossible situation. He faced academic recruiting standards that no other ACC school faced. Those standards cost us at least one highly prized recruit named Jerry Stackhouse, who had committed to NC State, but the mafia in charge at NC State at the time ruled he did not meet their own self-imposed academic standards.

So, Stackhouse quietly withdrew and went to UNC instead. Robinson never voiced any outrage, never mounted a public relations campaign against the cabal in charge at NC State, many of whom openly wanted to destroy the athletic department and turn NC State into an Ivy League school with a weak athletic program!

Les just put his head down and soldiered onward, braving everything that he was forced to endure, he made the best of it. Friends knew the truth, knew how bitter he considered the unfair treatment, but he kept it all off the newspapers that he could have used to fight the hardships he endured. But he cared more for NC State than he did for himself.

In the end, Robinson wanted to be at a military school. He knew such a school matched his personal values of integrity and discipline. So, he chose to leave NC State when everyone wanted him to stay and went to the Citadel.

There he used his unique integrity and charisma to heal old wounds. Staying out of the limelight, he just quietly went about putting people together and improving things.

Those who believe in integrity in college athletics will miss Les Robinson's presence in the sport.

Cheers,

Ken

Matt Nicholson
1st July 2008, 14:21
Les totally took one up the poop-chute for the team. For that, he has my eternal gratitude.

Thanks coach!

Prowling Woofie
2nd July 2008, 08:17
Les was for NC State what Gerald Ford was for the US - nothing flashy, just good, solid leadership in a time of turmoil.

Thanks, Les, for taking the bullet and maintaining your integrity.

Enjoy your retirement...

Class act, all the way !