|Craig Robinson Biography|
Courtesy: Athletic Communications
Craig Robinson has won 78 games in his first five seasons as the head coach of the Oregon State men’s basketball team, making him the sixth-winningest coach in school history.
Robinson enters his sixth season with a veteran lineup and a 34,500-square-foot, $15 million, state-of-the-art basketball practice facility that provides the program a recruiting advantage moving forward. The Beavers will also wear new uniforms as part of a recent brand and identity evolution program through a partnership with Nike.
Despite losing star guard Jared Cunningham to the NBA and senior center Angus Brandt in the fourth game to a season-ending injury, Oregon State won 14 games in Robinson’s fifth season, including wins over NCAA Tournament teams Colorado and New Mexico State and a narrow loss to No. 1-seed Kansas.
Several of Robinson’s recruits reached milestones during his fifth season as Devon Collier, Roberto Nelson and Joe Burton all joined the 1,000-point club and Ahmad Starks became Oregon State’s all-time leader in three-point field goals made with 185.
Nelson (19.1) became the first Oregon State player since Gary Payton in 1990 to lead the Pac-12 in scoring in conference games and Eric Moreland (10.6) became the first Beaver since Mel Counts in 1964 to average double-figures in rebounding. Moreland also broke the school’s single-season blocked shots record with 73. Nelson was named All-Pac-12 honorable mention and Moreland was selected Pac-12 All-Defensive honorable mention.
For the fifth consecutive year under Robinson’s watch, Oregon State players earned Pac-12 All-Academic honors, as Brandt was an honorable mention recipient for the second straight season after earning First Team recognition in 2011. Rhys Murphy was selected to the First Team in 2011, while Roeland Schaftenaar was named to the First Team in 2010 and the Second Team in 2009.
In his fourth season, Robinson led the Beavers to their best season in more than two decades in which they won 20 games for the first time since 1989-90 and had a winning record for just the second time since that same season.
With a full roster of players he recruited for the first time, Robinson completely changed Oregon State’s offense and defense in his fourth year with the program to post a 21-15 record, reach postseason play for the third time in four years and pull off the biggest upset in Pac-12 Tournament history when the No. 9 seed Beavers defeated top-seeded Washington in the quarterfinals.
Oregon State enjoyed its best offensive season in school history to lead the conference in scoring for the first time ever and finish 10th in the nation at 78.9 points per game. The Beavers also set a team-record with four 100-point games, nine 90-point games and 17 80-point games and finished second in the Pac-12 in field goal percentage and assists.
Defensively, Oregon State switched to primarily a man-to-man defense after playing a combination of zones in his first three seasons and led the Pac-12 in steals for the third straight year, forced a conference-best 598 turnovers and finish second in blocked shots and turnover margin.
Individually, Cunningham led the conference in steals for the second consecutive year and finished second in the Pac-12 in scoring to earn All-Pac-12 First Team honors and Pac-12 Player of the Week two times. The 6-foot-4 guard declared for the NBA Draft following his junior season and was the 24th overall pick, becoming the first Oregon State player drafted in the NBA since Corey Benjamin in 1998.
The youth of the team was very successful as sophomore Collier led the Pac-12 in field goal percentage (.614), freshman Moreland led the conference in blocked shots (1.9) and Starks knocked down the most three-pointers by a sophomore, and second most in Oregon State single-season history, (79).
In his third season at Oregon State, Robinson led the Beavers to their first win over a Top 25 team (vs. No. 20 Washington) and first victory in the Pac-10 Tournament (vs. Stanford) since 2006. Oregon State also defeated Arizona to open conference play 2-0 for just the second time since 1992-93, its third consecutive win over a Wildcat team that eventually came within a basket from a trip to the Final Four.
Defensively, the Beavers used their 1-3-1, 2-3 and matchup zones, with some man-to-man mixed in, to be among the top teams in the nation in steals all season. Cunningham shattered Oregon State’s sophomore steals record of 72 set by the legendary Payton in 1987-88 with 85 swipes. Cunningham was named to the All-Pac-10 Second Team and Pac-10 All-Defensive Team and also joined Payton as the only Oregon State players to make the Pac-10 All-Tournament Team.
Several freshmen had impact seasons, as Collier broke the Beavers’ freshman single-season blocked shots record (23), Starks made the third most three-pointers (42) by a freshman in school history and Nelson scored the most-ever points by a Beaver frosh (34) in a game.
In his second year, Robinson guided Oregon State to a tie for fifth-place in the Pacific-10 Conference, the highest finish for the Beavers since 2004-05. The Beavers finished conference play with an 8-10 record, which tied for their most Pac-10 wins since 1992-93, and made a second consecutive postseason appearance in the College Basketball Invitational.
Robinson's second season also saw Oregon State capture a number of marquee wins, most notable of which were season sweeps of Arizona and Oregon. Oregon State's win at Arizona was its first there since 1983 and the win in Eugene was the first for the Beavers since 1993.
Seth Tarver was honored as the Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year and Calvin Haynes was named to the All-Pac-10 Second Team after Robinson’s second season.
In his first season at Oregon State, Robinson helped lead a remarkable turnaround that culminated in the Beavers capturing the College Basketball Invitational title with a best-of-three series win over UTEP.
Oregon State finished the season with an 18-18 record and the plus-12 win total from the previous year ranked No. 3 in the country. The 18 wins were the most for Oregon State since 1989-90 and earned Robinson the District IX Coach of the Year by the United States Basketball Writers Association.
Along the way, Oregon State won seven Pac-10 games and swept the season series from California and Stanford, marking the first time since the 1989-90 season the Beavers have swept the two schools in the same year. The seven conference wins were the most for the program since 2004-05.
The sixth-year coach has also seen success on the recruiting trail as the Beavers have added numerous top-ranked recruits in his signing classes. The 2009-10 class signed by Robinson is one of the most decorated in program history and was ranked in the top 25 in the nation by several recruiting services.
Robinson signed a six-year contract when he was hired on April 7, 2008 as the 20th head coach in Oregon State men’s basketball history. He received a two-year contract extension on March 10, 2010 and a one-year extension on Sept. 13, 2012 that takes him through the 2016-17 season.
Prior to joining Oregon State, Robinson spent two years as the head coach at Brown, leading a revival of the Bears’ program that he guided to a school-record 19 victories in his final season. In his second year at Brown, Robinson led the Bears to their fourth-ever postseason tournament. Robinson's team posted an 11-3 Ivy League mark, second best in school history, and good for second place in the conference. Robinson won more games (30) in his first two years than any other head coach in Brown basketball history.
Robinson made an immediate impact on the Brown basketball team in his first year at the program and was named Ivy League Men's Basketball Coach of the Year by BasketballU.com. He guided the Bears to an improved 11-18 mark and 6-8 in the Ivy League to finish fifth in the conference. The Bears had a stunning 51-41 victory over Providence College and limited the Friars to 14 second-half points and 18-percent shooting from the floor in the second half (4-of-22) and also held NCAA-bound Michigan State to 45 points, its lowest point total of the season.
Prior to Brown, Robinson worked at Northwestern, where he spent six seasons with the Wildcats under head coach Bill Carmody (former head coach at Princeton). Robinson's relationship with Carmody dates to the 1982-83 season when, as senior captain, he led Princeton to the second round of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament, which was Carmody's first year as an assistant coach with the Tigers.
At Northwestern, Robinson developed and implemented his local, national and international recruiting technology. He was an integral part of Northwestern's dramatic turnaround, helping the Wildcats to the most wins in a four-year period in school history at the time with 57 victories from the 2001-02 to the 2004-05 seasons. Robinson also helped Northwestern finish ninth in the nation in scoring defense (58.8 points per game) in 2005-06.
A 1983 graduate of Princeton with an AB (Arts of a Bachelor degree) in Sociology, Robinson is considered one of the top players in Ivy League history. He ranks fourth on Princeton's all-time scoring list with 1,441 points and led the Ivy League in field goal percentage in 1982 (.577) and 1983 (.642).
Robinson was also the league's first two-time honoree as Ivy League Player of the Year, sharing the honor in 1982 before winning it outright in 1983. He played under legendary Princeton coach Pete Carrill, leading the Tigers to two NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament appearances during his tenure (1981 and 1983).
Ironically, Robinson played his final two collegiate games at Gill Coliseum in Corvallis. He grabbed 16 rebounds to lead No. 12-seed Princeton to a 56-53 upset over No. 5-seed Oklahoma State in the NCAA West Regional first round on March 18, 1983, before the Tigers lost to No. 4-seed Boston College, 51-42, in the second round on March 20, 1983.
After graduating from Princeton with a degree in sociology, Robinson was selected by the Philadelphia 76ers in the fourth round of the 1983 NBA Draft. He played two seasons with the Manchester (England) Giants of the European Basketball League and also served as the assistant to the general manager and public relations officer for Manchester.
Robinson began his coaching career as an assistant coach at the Illinois Institute of Technology from 1988-90. He was responsible for offense implementation, game strategy, recruiting and advance scouting. He was also the head coach at the University of Chicago High School in 1999-00.
Robinson, who also has a MBA in Finance from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business (1992), took a hiatus from coaching and went into private business in 1990. He was Vice President for Continental Bank from 1990-92, Vice President for Morgan Stanley Dean Witter from 1992-99 and then Managing Director for Loop Capital Markets before he made his move to Northwestern.
Robinson and his wife, Kelly, have three sons, Avery, Austin and Aaron, and a daughter, Leslie.
THE CRAIG ROBINSON FILE
CRAIG ROBINSON’S DIVISION I HEAD COACHING CAREER
OREGON STATE RECORD: 78-89 (5 Years)
ADDITIONAL COACHING EXPERIENCE