Coach Rob gets national award

Published 1:30 am Saturday, July 2, 2016


Coach Robertson, who was known to be intense when coaching, was recognized in Reno yesterday. File photo

Andalusia High School’s beloved coach Richard Robertson was honored yesterday in Reno, Nev., as one of 12 leaders selected to receive citations from the National Federation of State High School Association.

The award is designed to honor individuals who have made contributions to the NFHS, state high school associations, athletic director and coaching professions, the officiating avocation and fine arts/ performing arts programs. It is deemed is one of the most highly regarded achievements in high school athletics and performing arts.

Robertson retired last summer after 40 years of coaching basketball at Andalusia High School and 50 years in interscholastic athletics.


“I’m just proud that someone thought enough of me to nominate me,” Robertson said Friday night. “All I knew was that they wrote me in January and told me I was being presented the award. I had no idea it would be.”

“The tribute was nice, but I want to give the credit to all my student athletes,” he said. “They were receptive to my teaching and the things I wanted to get accomplished.

“I couldn’t have done anything without my players,” he said. “The reason I worked so hard, I wanted to see people from the community to do well. It was all with Covington County and Andalusia people.”

During his career, Coach Rob compiled a 751-357 win-loss record to rank sixth in victories in state history.

Among his coaching achievements, Robertson’s 2010-11 team registered a 31-3 record and his 1996 squad won the Alabama High School Athletic Association’s state championship.

Robertson was recognized for his victories off the field as well.

“Coach Rob,” as he is affectionately known in Andalusia, is known as a tremendous leader who has served as a second father to many of his players and an only father to others during his coaching days.

He also coached six-time NBA champion Robert Horry.

Robertson’s key role in helping Alabama move through the difficult time of integration as the AHSAA merged with the Alabama Interscholastic Athletic Association in 1968-69 was also acknowledged. During the tribute in Reno, the presentation included clips of Horry, as well as some of the player’s thoughts about his former coach.

He served as a member of the AHSAA Central Board of Control for many years, serving as president for a term, and was granted Central Board Emeritus status in October 2015.

In 1996, Robertson was inducted into the AHSAA Sports Hall of Fame and, in 2012, he received the AHSAA’s highest honor, the “Making a Difference Award.”

The award presented in Reno prohibited him from receiving yet another honor last night in Andalusia. During the banquet that is part of this weekend’s Covington County Training School, Ralph Bunch High School and Woodson High School class reunion, the Class of 1964 recognized him for his service to the community. Robertson’s daughters, Michele Robertson and Mirenda Robertson Kirksey, accepted a plaque and a check in his behalf.

While Robertson was invited to be in Reno for most of the week for the event as the organization’s guest, he said Friday night he was packed and ready to come home this morning.

“I’m missing my class reunion,” he said. “I want to get back home and see everybody.”

His wife, Ethel, accompanied him to Nevada.