New vice president and athletic director Ashley Robinson aims to help JSU rise to the same level of success the HBCU achieved during its glory days of championships and professional drafts.
However, he told a crowd of spectators Tuesday at a press conference announcing his hiring that “our student-athletes will be expected to excel academically as well as on the field of play.”
“I’m charged with leading this extraordinary athletic program. With your help, we are destined to transcend from local to global,” said Robinson, who begins his new roles July 1.
Vowing to make a significant difference at JSU, he said, “I’m led with vision, driven by results, clothed in character, governed by integrity, and I walk in excellence.”
Before introducing Robinson, JSU President William B. Bynum Jr. discussed the importance of sports.
“Athletics is the front porch of any university … in the way that people see us,” said Bynum, declaring that JSU has selected the right person to lead its athletic program.
“If you’ve got a winning athletic program, our applications for admission will go up. … It gives us an opportunity to increase our new student class and overall student body,” he said.
“When we have winning athletic programs we increase pride of our student body as well as our alumni. … With that increased pride, we get increased retention and graduation rates,” Bynum said.
So, what can JSU expect from Robinson?
“Under my leadership, the Tigers will represent this institution, community and state in the spirit of excellence by restoring the pride of our students to be competitive,” Robinson vowed.
He added that his primary focus would be on structure and organization.” As a result, he said he plans to establish internal and external relationships that will enable JSU to work more effectively and efficiently to accomplish its goals and objectives.
Also, Robinson said he foresees JSU competing in SWAC championships in every sport. His other areas of focus will include soliciting new donors and securing sponsorships and advertising dollars.
Bynum summed up the excitement with an emphasis that “JSU has an outstanding history and legacy of athletics. Unmatched. And, we are about to get back.”