Team preview: Brown
Blue Ribbon Yearbook previews the 2006-07 college basketball season, exclusively on Insider.
(Information in this team report is as of October 1.)
If Craig Robinson ever forgets his wedding anniversary, his new wife might string him up by his coach's whistle.
Late in the evening on Wednesday, June 14, the last details of the agreement that propelled the erstwhile Northwestern assistant to his first head-coaching job at Brown were hammered out.
But there was one rather significant catch -- the following Saturday, June 17, Robinson was set to marry his second wife, Kelly, in Chicago. The rehearsal dinner for the wedding, also in Chicago, was Thursday the 15th, but Brown naturally wanted to introduce its new head man ASAP.
So, to avoid a black eye from his fiancée, Robinson flew a red-eye to Providence, R.I., on Wednesday night, attended a hastily arranged, 9 a.m. press conference, and jetted back to Chicago on an 11:30 a.m. flight.
After the wedding the Robinsons, plus the coach's two children from his previous marriage, enjoyed a brief, four-day cruise before Robinson hit the recruiting trail for the month of July. Not until August did the newlyweds embark on a true honeymoon, to Jamaica and Mexico.
Two honeymoon destinations? Quipped Robinson, "I knew I wasn't going to have a vacation anytime soon."
The 44-year-old Robinson hasn't been much for extended layoffs anyway. A two-time Ivy League Player of the Year at Princeton who grew up on Chicago's South Side, Robinson parlayed an MBA from the University of Chicago into a lucrative financial career with a Wall Street firm.
He dropped all of that seven years ago to join Bill Carmody's staff at Northwestern. Carmody had been one of Pete Carril's assistants during Robinson's salad days at Princeton.
The rest is not history, but prologue. Swooping into the vacancy created when Glen Miller dribbled over to Ivy rival Penn, Robinson takes the reins of a program that last made an NCAA Tournament in 1986.
"Coaching good students is sort of my background," Robinson said. "Coming from my background, it's enjoyable to coach guys who are well-rounded. That's the biggest thing about coaching here at Brown. These kids are fantastic kids.
"The second thing is Brown itself is a great place. The people I met during the interview process just solidified my decision, from the athletic director Mike Goldberger all the way down to the other coaches and administrators. I either met people who have been here at Brown forever, or they're new like me.
That's a nice thing to have."