Dr. William B. Bynum Jr., president of Jackson State University, has named Ashley Robinson as JSU’s new vice president and director of athletics. He will begin on July 1.
“We are excited to welcome Ashley to the team at Jackson State,” said Dr. Bynum. “This is a great day in the history of JSU and athletics. Ashley’s breadth of experience with compliance, fundraising and building championship programs are the qualities that made him my first choice. We are looking forward to the success he will bring to our athletic program.”
“This is truly a dream come true,” said Robinson. “It is an honor to be selected to lead this program, but more importantly, I’m elated to have the opportunity to give back to my community. I would like to thank Dr. Bynum for his confidence in me to lead at JSU. I have accomplished a lot over the course of my career. It is definitely a little bit sweeter to accomplish those things at home. I look forward to building on tradition as we blaze new trails at Jackson State University.”
Robinson, a native of Jackson, Miss., who was a basketball star at Murrah High School, spent the previous five years at Prairie View A&M University (PVAMU), where he was named director of athletics in June 2013. He was promoted to vice president and director of athletics in November 2016.
Robinson’s tenure was marked by championships in competition, academic success and the completion of athletic facilities and renovations.
This past spring, a trio of PVAMU teams ended Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) championship droughts. In mid-April, men’s golf won the SWAC Championship for the first time in 40 years. In early May, men’s track won the SWAC Championship for the first time in 10 years. Less than a week later, softball won its first SWAC Championship in 20 years, with all three teams competing in NCAA Regional Tournaments. The championships were among six titles won by Panther teams during Robinson’s tenure.
In the May 2018 NCAA Academic Progress Rate (APR) report, all 18 Prairie View A&M athletics teams are above the NCAA mandated multi-year score of 930, with seven of those teams posting perfect scores of 1,000. All 18 teams are, again, postseason eligible in the upcoming 2018-19 athletic year.
Throughout his storied career at PVAMU, he brought numerous facilities upgrades, including Tankersley Field baseball facility, as the multi-year project included the installation of a new high-definition message board, grandstand and press box.
A new athletics administration building in the north end zone at Panther Stadium at Blackshear Field, which is a three-story complex serving as the new home for PVAMU Athletics. It features an academic lab, administration and coaches offices, a weight room, athletic training room and rehab and classrooms for academic support and team meetings.
The new outdoor track-and-field stadium opened in world-class fashion in July 2016 when Panther Athletics and PVAMU hosted the final training camp on American soil for the United States Olympic Track and Field team prior to competing in the 2016 Rio Olympics.
In September 2016, the new Panther Stadium hosted its first football game, as PVAMU defeated archrival Texas Southern in the annual Labor Day Classic before a sold-out crowd and national television audience on ESPNU. All eight games in the new facility have been televised live either on television or online in the past two years.
In October 2016, the new PVAMU Soccer Complex opened on campus, and hosted the SWAC Championship in November. In January 2017, the resurfacing of the courts at PVAMU Tennis was completed. In March 2017, renovations to the PVAMU Softball Complex were completed as new dugouts, bleachers and a press box were installed. March also saw the return of the historic PV Relays Track and Field meet, hosted in the new Outdoor Track and Field Stadium.
The new facilities have allowed Prairie View A&M to host the SWAC Soccer Championship (2016-18), the SWAC Outdoor Track and Field Championship meet (2018-20), and a host of high school football playoff games and local soccer tournaments in the past two years.
Always with the goal of improving the student-athlete experience, Robinson implemented the Athletic Director’s Club, with membership increasing annually. Season tickets sales have increased yearly. He has also created and expanded corporate partnerships for the department, broadening the brand exposure and reach of PVAMU Athletics.
In January 2017, the new PVAMU Sports Network online portal debuted to showcase Panther Athletics’ contests with new audio and video platforms and improved live stats, as well as a weekly radio show to provide an in-house platform to promote athletics and create additional sponsorship inventory for the department. This past year for the first time ever, PVAMU football, volleyball, soccer, women’s basketball, men’s basketball, outdoor track, softball and baseball games were video streamed online in the same season.
A former student-athlete, he was a four-year letterman in basketball and is the single-season and career record-holder in assists after playing point guard for Mississippi Valley State University (MVSU). An MVSU Athletics Hall of Fame inductee in 2011, Robinson also was named MVSU Athlete of the Year in 2002, receiving the President’s Scholar Award in that same year.
Robinson left Mississippi Valley to begin a career in athletic administration as an academic coordinator at Delaware State University in Dover. Robinson helped implement a comprehensive academic support system for the department’s 300 student-athletes and was the department’s liaison to DSU’s faculty, campus academic offices and support services. He also assisted with the CHAMPS / Life Skills and Student-Athlete Advisory (SAAC) Board.
After eight months in Delaware, Robinson received the opportunity to return home as assistant compliance director at Jackson State. His duties included assisting the compliance director in eligibility, student-athlete certification and reinstatement, and enforcing the compliance bylaws of the NCAA, the SWAC and Jackson State.
He continued to advance up the compliance ranks by returning to Mississippi Valley State as the athletic department’s compliance director in August 2007.
In July 2008, he was named SWAC’s assistant commissioner for compliance. In this position, he supervised a NCAA Division I Collegiate Conference Compliance and Academic Service department, the National Letter of Intent program, and liaison between the conference and the NCAA for rules, interpretations, and appeals.
His next position was as assistant vice president of athletic compliance and academic advising at Prairie View A&M in 2010. During his first tenure at PVAMU, the athletic department prospered academically under his watch as they won the 2011 and 2012 SWAC All-Academic Awards while also receiving Public Recognition from the NCAA for the women’s golf teams APR score.
Robinson was named athletic director at Mississippi Valley State in 2012, where he spent nine months leading Delta Devil Athletics before returning to PVAMU in the same capacity.
Robinson currently serves as chair of SWAC’s Athletic Directors Committee and will begin his tenure as 3rdvice president of the Football Championship Subdivision Advisory Committee later this summer. He is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. and the Mo Williams Foundation.
Robinson received a bachelor’s degree from MVSU and master’s degree at the United States Sports Academy.
Robinson is married to Farmhaven, Miss., native Carlevia Danielle Robinson, who received her bachelor’s degree from Tougaloo College and master’s degree from Jackson State University. The couple had their first child, daughter Paisley Abrielle, in July 2016.