2012: M.S.S. Sports Management
After playing professional basketball for 10 years in Europe, Jerome Robinson has begun pursuing his dream of becoming a Division I college basketball coach.
He admits it was hard to walk away from the game at the age of 34. However, Robinson recently earned his master’s degree in Sports Management from the Academy and landed on the men’s basketball coaching staff at Eastern Michigan University as its Administrative Life Skills Coordinator.
“I left when I still had a lot of game left in me,” Robinson says.”But I’m still in the sport I love, so that’s made the transition a lot better.”
Robinson played forward at Bradley University from 1997 to 2002, and as a senior earned first team All Missouri Valley Conference, team Most Valuable Player and Bradley’s Most Outstanding Athlete Award.
Known for his defensive prowess, Robinson earned several Defensive Player of the Year awards during his professional career playing for teams in France, Belgium, Austria and elsewhere.
Robinson, who finished his degree over the past two years, took a timeout from his duties doing scouting reports, mailing recruits and working with the Eastern Michigan student-athletes to discuss starting his coaching career, what he misses about Europe and the impact getting his master’s degree is having on his future.
Alumni Network: How hard has the transition been from playing to coaching, so far?
Jerome Robinson: I left when I still had a lot of game left in me. It was a little difficult. However, I was tired of being overseas so long. I had tried to make the transition before but was unsuccessful. But I didn’t give up. I kept networking and making new contacts. I’ve got a great start at a good school. I’m working with a great coach right now, Robert Murphy. He is really an awesome boss. I’m still in the sport I love, so that’s made the transition a lot better.
Alumni Network: What is your dream job?
Jerome Robinson: Eventually, I would like to be a Division I head coach someday. The money is a big step down for me but that’s just part of the college basketball business. I know I have to work my way up. I’m doing mail outs to recruits, scouting reports and all types of other daily operations stuff. It is a side of the game I have to learn to move on and move up the ladder. A lot of coaches had to start at this level before they got to where they are now.
Alumni Network: Will you miss anything about playing overseas?
Jerome Robinson: I enjoyed all the people and all the different places I played. That’s the part I’m going to miss. I enjoyed learning the different cultures and trying to pick up their languages. Europe is so old and rich in history. I’ll miss that, too.
Alumni Network: How has earning your master’s from the Academy in May helped you?
Jerome Robinson: Earning my master’s is impacting my career greatly. I don’t know if I would have gotten this job or even been considered if I didn’t have this degree. It shows you’re willing to put in the extra effort to learn more about your professional field. It takes a special person to go back to school for a couple more years. I believe it will help fulfill a dream of mine to move up and get ahead in this race.