Jackson State University and Ashley Robinson have made it official that he is staying put after weeks of conversations and reports about him moving elsewhere in the SWAC.
Robinson had been courted by his former employer, Prairie View A&M University, to take over its vacant AD position and sources indicated the two sides were nearing a deal as of the final week of July. Sources indicate that conversations between Robinson and Prairie View A&M bled into this week, but Jackson State came away with the prize as a new deal is expected in the near future.
Jackson State University Acting President Elayne Hayes-Anthony and Vice President / Athletic Director Ashley Robinson released a joint video statement on Wednesday confirming Robinson’s continued leadership of the JSU Athletics program.
“AD Robinson is staying at Thee I Love, Jackson State University. We huddled up, as they say in sports, and we came out a winner. I am so pleased to have him as a part of my administration,” said Hayes-Anthony. “We want him here because of his brilliant track record. He’s done so many things to elevate athletics, which is a part of our strategic plan. I’d like to encourage the entire JSU community to show up and show out for our student athletes this season so we can continue to help them excel in and out of the classroom.”
Robinson, a Jackson native, spoke about what the position meant to him.
“Jackson State is very special to me. It’s nothing like having support when you’re building an athletic department,” Robinson said. “A lot of athletics directors don’t have the support, and when you have the support of your president and your administration, that’s big. That’s one of the biggest reasons why I made a decision to stay here at Jackson State University, the support. You always want to be in the position where you can support your coaches and support your athletes, and President Anthony, you have put us in that position.”
Jackson State announces upgrade, new sports
In addition to Robinson staying put, the Jackson State football is getting new lights on the practice field to extend its football hours.
“Sometimes the guys need to practice at night, but if you don’t have any lights it’s hard to do that. Well, at the end of this week, we’re going to have lights at the practice field. That’s huge for our players because it’s going to allow the head coach to make practice decisions based on the needs instead of the time,” said Hayes-Anthony.
Jackson State will also add two new sports with the return of men’s and women’s golf, which will elevate JSU to 18 sports.
“With the support of President Anthony, we’re bringing men and women’s golf back,” Robinson said. “We had a great tradition here. Coach Eddie Payton won over 30 championships in the golf program, so this is huge for Jackson State.”
Prairie View A&M, meanwhile, remains on the look for a new AD.