Joe Robinson begins his fourth year in Columbia. He was hired as the Gamecocks’ special teams coordinator and tight ends coach on January 13, 2012 but focused solely on the special teams in 2013 and again in 2014.
Under Robinson’s watch, sophomore placekicker Elliott Fry became a semifinalist for the Lou Groza award and was a second-team All-SEC selection, while three-year punter Tyler Hull put together his finest season in 2014. Fry led the team in scoring for the second-straight year, tallying 105 points, the third-highest single-season total in school history.
In 2013, Robinson had a hand in the early success of true freshman placekicker Elliott Fry, who converted 15-of-18 field goal attempts in his first season for the Garnet & Black and set a school record for PAT’s in a season with 54. Fry earned Freshman All-SEC accolades, as did Pharoh Cooper as a return specialist.
During Robinson’s first season at Carolina, Ace Sanders established a school record for punt return yardage in a season while earning second-team All-America honors and SEC Special Teams Player of the Year accolades. The Gamecock tight ends, led by Justice Cunningham and Rory Anderson, along with SEC All-Freshman Jerell Adams, became a key threat in the passing game. Cunningham was selected with the final pick of the 2013 draft by the Indianapolis Colts.
Robinson, the 2010 FootballScoop Special Teams Coordinator of the Year, joined the Gamecock staff after one season at the University of North Carolina, where he coached the defensive line.
Prior to his arrival in Chapel Hill, Robinson spent three seasons as the defensive line coach and special teams coordinator at LSU. In his award-winning 2010 season, the Tigers’ special teams finished in the top 13 nationally in net punting, kickoff return average and punt return average while earning a trip to the Cotton Bowl. In 2009, LSU’s special teams combined to rank No. 1 overall in the SEC as the Tigers led the league in both kickoff coverage (44.5 net average) and punt returns (18.9). LSU was the only team in the league to rank among the top three in the conference in four special teams categories. Kick returner Trindon Holliday led the SEC and ranked No. 2 in the nation in punt returns and was selected in the 2010 NFL Draft by the Houston Texans.
Robinson has coached a variety of positions during his coaching career, including defensive line, special teams, linebackers and running backs. He also has experience as a recruiting coordinator at Southern Miss and Louisiana Tech.
He began his collegiate coaching career at Louisiana Tech where he served as a defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator from 1989-91. Robinson then coached seven seasons at Southern Miss where he tutored the defensive line (1992-93), linebackers (1994-95) and special teams (1996-98) while also earning a master’s degree. He returned to Louisiana Tech for one year (2001), and also logged stints at Houston (2002) and Central Florida (2003).
Robinson coached defensive ends and special teams for four seasons at Arizona from 2004-07. He coached a number of outstanding special teams performers with the Wildcats, including NFL draft picks Antoine Cason, (1st round by San Diego), Nick Folk (6th round by Dallas) and Syndric Steptoe (7th round by Cleveland). In 2004, Robinson coached on the same Arizona staff as current South Carolina wide receivers coach Steve Spurrier, Jr.
A 1985 graduate of LSU, Robinson’s first coaching job came as an assistant at Catholic High School of Pointe Coupee in 1986. He was promoted to head coach in 1987. Robinson spent the 1988 season as the defensive coordinator at Bastrop High School.
Born in Abilene, Texas, Robinson and his wife, Abby, have three daughters, Alexandra, Madeline and Valerie.