Longtime Grambling coach battling Alzheimer's

Posted: July 22, 2004

Eddie Robinson, college football's winningest coach, has Alzheimer's, his wife said.

"He's pretty bad," Doris Robinson said yesterday. "He gets a little bit worse every day. He comes to the table for breakfast, but after that he wants to go right to bed."

During his 57 years at Grambling, a career which spanned 11 presidents, several wars and the civil-rights movement, Robinson compiled a record of 408-165-15.

His teams had only nine losing seasons and won 16 conference titles and nine national black college championships.

Robinson, 85, started showing signs of the disease soon after his retirement from Grambling after the 1997 season, his wife said. The couple went to hospitals in New Orleans, Dallas and Houston trying to find help, she said.

"Eddie Junior and his wife, the four of us would just get in the car and go anywhere trying to get something done," she said. "I don't guess Alzheimer's has done him any worse than it's done anybody else. We're trying to live with it.

"If I let myself, I could cry. But I don't have time to do that. I never thought I would be the strong one, but I have to be now."

The Robinsons could go out to lunch as recently as 2 months ago, Doris Robinson said. Eddie Robinson can no longer do that.


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