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Northwest Coach Profiles: Craig Robinson

OSU Basketball – Craig Robinson

Before being known as First Lady Michelle Obama’s brother, Craig Robinson was already making himself known in the college basketball world.

Robinson has earned accolades for lifting two teams out of the doldrums and achieved records of 30-28 with Brown over two years and 42-55 with Oregon State over three seasons.

Name: Craig Robinson
Born: April 21st, 1962
Place of birth: Chicago, Illinois
College: Forward (Princeton)
Position: Assistant, Head Coach
Overall Coaching Record: 70-77

Playing Career and Early Coaching Years

Coming out of high school, Craig had offers to play big-time division one basketball. He instead chose to take the advice of his father, and attend Princeton University for its superior academic reputation.

He was still able to play basketball while at Princeton and showed people why he had big time offers by becoming a two-time Ivy League Player of the Year. Robinson led the league in field goal percentage both years. Robinson still remains the fourth highest scorer in school history.

At 21 he was drafted into the NBA in the fourth round of the 1983 draft, but he would never play a game in the NBA.

After a long hiatus from basketball, he returned to the game in the form of coaching in 1999 as the head coach of the Chicago Laboratory Schools.

He stayed there until he was given an assistant coaching job with the Northwestern Wildcats. His first “big-time” coaching gig. He stayed there under head coach Bill Carmody for six years until he was finally given a chance for his first high profile job.

After taking over the Brown head coaching job in 2006, he imported his version of the Princeton offense that he picked up from Pete Carroll during the time they spent together.

He led them to the College Basketball Invitational in his second year with a 19-10 record. After the season, he was offered the job at Oregon State; a welcome change for a struggling Beavers‘ basketball program.

craig robinson OSU

Just tryin' to make it work! Photo credit: AP PHOTO - Greg Wahl-Stephens

On to Oregon State

Robinson’s tenure with the Beavers has had its moments, but because of a lingering losing record, it’s been rocky recently. During his three completed seasons, Oregon State has never placed higher than fifth in the standings.

Don’t blame Robison for poor OSU recruiting though.

Every year the Beav’s get a wee bit better and they did at least win the CBI in Robinson’s first season at the helm.

This season, Robinson’s Beavers are at least over .500 and it does appear that Oregon State may have finally turned a corner under his leadership.

Finally, thanks to Robinson’s six-year coaching contract with OSU that was recently extended through 2016 (an additional two years), it looks like Beavers hoops fans may actually get to root for their boys come March Madness sometime soon.


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