Jerry Robinson, an avid sports fan, holds a photo of the first team he coached with the remaining 44-teams hanging on his wall in the background. Robinson has coached youth basketball in Murfreesboro for 45-years. Photo by J. Davis
As the 2013 Murfreesboro Basketball League season is winding down and division tournaments on the horizon, Jerry Robinson is capping off his 45th year as a coach in the youth league.
“I started out before the Murfreesboro Parks and Recreation (Department) took it over,” Robinson said. “And over the years, I have coached different age groups. And when my daughter came through the league, I coached her team and a boys team.
“I did not get into this because I had a child wanting to play. I did this because I just love the game. I just love to be around it and be around the kids.”
Robinson got his first taste of basketball when he played hoops while attending Hobgood Elementary School in Murfreesboro. He played on the schools B team and did manage to get into some varsity games.
“I was a pretty good player on the B team and did get to dress out some for the varsity,” he explained. “But, I did not get to play much on the varsity. I scored one point, a free throw, but that did not discourage me.
“Every since I was little, I have played a sport. From Little League on up to playing softball for 40 years. And I support the local high school teams and all sports at MTSU. I like to watch or be involved in sports.”
Robinson has lived in Rutherford County since he was 5 years old and graduated from Central High School in 1969.
He is a season ticket holder at MTSU in several sports and supports local high school athletics – all part of being a sports junkie.
Although the years at the helm of youth sports has mellowed, Robinson said his passion for basketball and working with the youngsters has never wavered.
“When I first started I was real aggressive. I even had some technical fouls called against me,” Robinson said. “But as the years passed, I realized that this is a recreational league and not all about winning or losing."
He said for some kids, youth leagues are all they will be able to play, which is one reason he is so committed to the program.
“Whether they are good enough to play on their school teams or not, the league is all about teaching them the basics and giving them a chance to play," he said. "Let them have fun and play basketball.”
Robinson has guided countless players to a win-loss record that is not part of the equation.
And to mark each year, he has 45-team photos lining the wall of his den at his home located in the Mitchell-Neilson area of Murfreesboro.
“I have been going to games since I was little,” Robinson said. “I’m a season ticket holder at MTSU in football, baseball and both basketball teams, and I support Riverdale sports but when a local team in the state finals in a sport, I am there to support whatever team that is.
“There is no question that I like to watch sports, play sports, and I like coaching youth basketball.”