SUU will mark a new era for its Men’s Basketball program on Wednesday, November 21, when new head coach Nick Robinson leads his team into their first home game under new management.
And while the young coach recognizes strong teams are not built overnight, he moves forward with great expectation for the 2012-13 season.
For those who don’t know much about the T-Birds fearless leader, Robinson is best known for his buzzer-beating three-point shot in a late season game that kept his Stanford Cardinal in the running for their ultimate No. 1 national ranking and Pac-10 championship. In this, he proved a tenacious and yet composed demeanor that would serve him well far beyond his years as a college hoopster.
Now in his first go-round as an NCAA head coach, and with that particular storybook ending long behind him, Robinson’s composure under pressure and focused determination is no less obvious, and it is that confident tenacity that distinguished the young coach among a pool of very qualified, very exciting candidates for SUU’s head coach appointment, according to Athletic Director Ken Beazer.
Said Beazer, “When Coach Robinson was on campus for his interview, there was a definite game winning, buzzer beating moment. The players were lifting in the weight room so we took Coach by to meet them, and to see the way our student athletes responded to him—it was amazing, he was like a magnet. They all got along as if they had known one another for a while. I stood back and watched, and I thought, ‘this is our guy’.”
Beazer continues, “In that moment, I could see what has now been confirmed in the months since: Coach Robinson is a born leader. Everyone I have talked to who knows of him has said that Nick Robinson is a big time coach in the making. He just has that natural, inherent ability to inspire people and to take them in the right direction.”
As to that direction, the new guy’s aim is rooted in tradition. “We want to be able to have a basketball program, not just teams on a year-by-year basis, one up, one down. We want to find players and students who want to compete at a really high level, and we’re gonna try to build and mold a team that is willing to put in the work to compete in the upper half of the conference year in and year out.”
He continues, “I want to build a program with a championship mentality. I have been fortunate to be around championship programs my entire career, from high school to college, as a player as well as an assistant coach. I feel like I have a good idea of what it takes to win. We are going to put the work in day in and day out to build championship habits."
“I really want our student-athletes now to see the significance in what we are doing. We are going to work hard. We are going to finish everything we start, regardless of what the score says at the end. And we are going to do our very best not just for future teams and players, but also for every former player, coach, manager—everybody that has been a part of building the Thunderbird program," says Robinson.
He adds, "I want to make everyone who has ever been a part of the basketball program proud.”
Tipoff for Wednesday’s game is set for 7:05 p.m. MT. Season tickets for SUU Men’s Basketball are now on sale, online and through the Centrum Ticket office. Wednesday’s game marks the first 14 home games this season. The Centrum Ticket Office is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. –4:30 p.m., with extended hours on home game days. Season tickets to SUU’s other winter sports are also available for purchase, including women’s basketball and gymnastics.