BY KRISTI FISH | MIRROR REPORTER — After a year in the making, former Maumee students, teachers and residents will soon have the chance to celebrate coach Jim Robinson Sr.’s accomplishments at Maumee High School.
Several former Maumee student-athletes – Nick Porter, Brian Chapman, Josh Culling, Bryan Borcherdt and Jim Robinson Jr. – along with former teacher Terri Mortemore and several others have pushed for a formal celebration and recognition of Robinson.
“We want the opportunity for people to tell coach what an amazing impact he’s had on their lives,” Porter said. “They don’t make coaches like him anymore. He’s one of a kind.”
On Friday, December 9, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m., an alumni dinner will be held for those interested in reminiscing with each other and the former coach.
Tickets for the dinner are available for $30.00 apiece at RobinsonScholarship.com until Monday, December 5. Proceeds from the dinner will go to the Jim Robinson Sr. Scholarship fund.
“We are hoping people will want to donate to the scholarship fund while they’re there,” Porter said. “We are trying to raise $27,000 to endow it so it continues to pay for itself in perpetuity.”
After the dinner, the formal dedication ceremony will occur during the boys basketball game between Maumee and Anthony Wayne high schools. The December 9 game was chosen for two main reasons, Porter said.
“This specific game was chosen because the head varsity basketball coach at Anthony Wayne, Josh Arthur, is a Maumee alum who played for Coach Robinson and later coached with me at Eastwood and was on Coach Robinson’s staff at Maumee Valley Country Day School,” Porter said.
It was important that all of the players who wanted to be in attendance have the chance if possible. Additionally, many of the former student-athletes who helped plan the event knew of several Maumee alumni living in the Anthony Wayne area now and wanted the opportunity to reach as many of them as possible.
The dedication has amazed Robinson, his wife Carol said, adding that he credits those he worked with for allowing him to become someone worthy of the honor.
“He says he was blessed with great team members and fine coaches on the staff,” she said. “He recognizes that he had strong administrative and community support. He gives special thanks to varsity assistant Don Kober, who shared equally in the 20 years they coached together.”
Porter credits Jim Robinson Jr. for the idea of the court dedication, and said the group knew it was a great way to showcase his accomplishments to every future basketball player. Additionally, holding the dedication during the basketball game, Porter said, will be a great opportunity to hopefully inspire future basketball players while also drawing extra attention the current players, too.
“Coach (Ryan) Osier has been doing an amazing job with his kids, so there is a lot of enthusiasm around the boys basketball program right now, and we are really excited about packing the gym and creating an atmosphere reminiscent of the ‘golden’ days of the ’80s and ’90s when Maumee was a contender for the NLL championship year in and year out,” Porter said. “As a tribute to Coach’s seven NLL championships, we are asking all fans who attend the game to wear their gold.”
On December 10, the alumni game will be raising funds for the scholarship as well. The alumni game has been an ongoing event due to the efforts of Maumee alumna Sarah Cliff.
It was paused for a few years due to COVID-19, and the only difference this year from years past is that all proceeds from admission will go to the scholarship fund.
Tickets for the alumni game are currently available for $20.00 at RobinsonScholarship.com.
Coach Robinson extended his gratitude to Porter, Chapman, Borcherdt, Culling, Mortemore and Robinson Jr. for executing the dedication and bringing so many of his former athletes, friends and family together.
Carol said the Robinson family is grateful for the public recognition of his accomplishments in basketball for the school, and to see how his actions have reflected positively in his players’ lives as adults.
“We have been overwhelmed by the work of the committee in planning the entire event. We particularly want to thank Nick Porter, who was the impetus for the entire plan,” she said.
Porter said the entire event is just a way for so many of his fellow student-athletes to express gratitude for a man who has inspired them. It was important to the players that their coach knows how big of a role he has played and continues to play in their lives.
“We told him what he means during the process for the dedication with 30 letters, but we want to give people an opportunity to tell Coach what he meant to them in person,” Porter said.
For those who are unsure if they will be able to commit to attend before the Monday, December 5 deadline or want to reach out for more information, Porter said he is able to assist those who contact him at email@example.com.
More information on the events, scholarship and Robinson’ is available at RobinsonScholarship.com.