Robinson goes from player to coach at Georgia

Robinson goes from player to coach at Georgia

Former University of Georgia football player Christian Robinson, a Greater Atlanta Christian grad, laughs during practice this summer in Athens. (File)

Former University of Georgia football player Christian Robinson, a Greater Atlanta Christian grad, laughs during practice this summer in Athens. (File)

When Christian Robinson was cut by the St. Louis Rams this spring, it didn’t take him long to decide his next career move.

The Greater Atlanta Christian grad and former University of Georgia linebacker sat down with his father Ken to discuss his options.

“I said if I were you, this is what I would do” said Ken Robinson, the head coach at Providence Christian Academy and former Washington Redskin. “I named three individuals — Kirby Smart, Mike Bobo and Will Muschamp. All three played at Georgia. One is a head coach, two are coordinators. If you just look at the finical part of it, in the long haul you’ll probably make more money. No. 2 you don’t have to worry about a hurt knee and a hurt neck like your old man.”

Christian Robinson got up, went outside and called his agent to tell him he was done with football. Then he called his former coach at UGA.

“The moment I didn’t make it with the Rams, I called Coach (Todd) Grantham and he said I was hired,” Robinson said.

Robinson’s playing days are over, but now he’s taking on the next endeavor of his life as a college football coach. It’s a path similar to his father Ken, who was the captain for the University of South Carolina and has been a high school coach for 12 years.

“Even if I did make it (in the NFL), this is what I wanted to do long term,” Robinson said.

Robinson was an all-state linebacker/tight end at GAC, helping the Spartans to the quarterfinals his junior and senior seasons. He played four years for the Bulldogs and was recognized by Georgia football beat writers for being the most gracious and helpful during interviews.

During his senior season, Robinson was approached by the coaching staff about a possible opportunity with the team.

“They said to me if things don’t work out playing, we would like to have you come back,” Robinson said.

“I think it speaks to his character that they would ask him to be a coach at Georgia,” Ken said.

Robinson graduated in December with a degree in sports management. He trained for three months for his Pro Day to help him get drafted, but he went unselected in April. Robinson was invited to the Rams’ rookie camp, but didn’t make the cut. The reality of his playing days being over were softened by the fact he could return to coach for his alma mater.

“It didn’t work out for me to play,” Robinson said. “I’m the youngest guy they’ve hired back. I’m grateful for the opportunity I was given.”

Robinson is a defensive graduate assistant for the Bulldogs, which means he’s an assistant to all the defensive coaches. He specializes in helping with the linebackers, but also helps with film duties and the scout team.

“I said get your pencil out and learn everything you can,” Ken Robinson said. “Now you’re going to get the whys out of it. I told him you learn everything you can.”

Robinson brings a unique approach to the coaching staff. He’s played for head coach Mark Richt for five years. He knows they way the program is supposed to be run. He’s also been in defensive coordinator Todd Grantham’s system for three years, so he makes a nice segue from coaches to players.

“I’m really looking forward to helping the team. I know the guys and I know the system,” Robinson said. “I’m not a player anymore. It’s a job now. I’m the same person, just different responsibilities.”

Robinson’s father Ken has been his biggest supporter through all of the changes.

“I’m convinced he’ll do a great job,” Ken said. “When he gets a head coaching job one day or even coordinator, I said I just want to be your water boy. I mean that, I’m not kidding with him.”

It’s a deal Robinson hopes he can fulfill one day.

“Yeah, that or a chaplain,” Robinson said. “He wants to get on the bus. I’d love to have him with me one day.”