GRAMBLING, La. (AP) -It was a busy morning at Moore's Barber Shop, one of a dozen small businesses scattered along the three-block Main Street in this little town.
``Everybody's got to look pretty for tomorrow,'' Larry Pannell, director of the Grambling Band said as he took his place in James E. Moore's chair. ``History is being made again right here in Grambling.''
Pannell and the others getting ready for Eddie Robinson's wake Tuesday night and funeral Wednesday morning were also swapping stories about Grambling State's famous coach of 57 years.
``I was Coach's barber for 37 years,'' said the 67-year-old Moore. ``Then he came in one day and said he wouldn't need me any more. He was bald by then, and he took off his hat and said, `My hair is now being taken care of by Mother Nature and Father Time.'''
Robinson, all agreed, was a man who loved a joke, and always had time to listen to one or tell one.
``It used to take him forever to get around town,'' Moore said. ``He had to shake every hand and talk to everybody.''
Across the street from the barber shop at the new post office, the largest building in Grambling, the American flag flew at half-staff for Robinson, who put this town of 4,800 on the map.
``We have people drive into town all the time just because they know about Coach Robinson,'' said Darrell Street, the marketing director for the city. ``They see the sign on the interstate and just stop by.''
Grambling State was The Louisiana Negro Normal and Industrial Institute when Robinson gave up his 25-cent-an-hour job in a feed mill to pursue his dream of coaching football. By the time he retired 57 years later in 1997, he was the winningest coach in college football with 408 victories and over 200 players sent to the NFL.
Now Grambling State has 5,000 students and expects to grow by a couple of thousand more soon, said president Horace Judson. A half dozen new buildings for student housing are going up near the football field - Robinson Stadium - the only thing on campus named for the coach.
``I think Grambling itself is a monument to Eddie Robinson,'' Judson said. ``I doubt any of this would have happened if not for him.''
Robinson's funeral was to be held in the new Assembly Center. It seats 7,500 and an additional 500 folding chairs were set up on the floor.
``If this isn't enough we have overflow seating at the nursing auditorium,'' said Debra Jackson, who was helping to coordinate the event.
The school choir and the band will provide the music. Pannell was already getting pressure to slow down the school's fight song for the funeral.
``I just tell them, `No, sir, I'm playing it just the way Coach liked it,'' Pannell said. ``If I slowed it down, Coach would jump out of that casket and come after me. He loved that fight song.''

Recent NCAAF Discussions

NCAAF Headlines

More inNCAAF News  

NCAAF Top Stories

Thumbnail Bettors backing Cal vs. Hawaii Despite the majority of public bettors backing California for Friday’s college football kickoff contest, the line has moved in favor of Hawaii.
Thumbnail Clemson Season Win Total Prediction   Few would argue that the best player in college football resides in Death Valley. After narrowly missing out on the ultimate prize this past January, will...
Thumbnail Western Kentucky Season Win Total Prediction In Conference USA country, one school’s offensive attack stands a cut above the rest. We’re talking about a crew so brilliant that even video-game...
Thumbnail Navy Season Win Total Prediction   Collectively, Houston towered over the American Athletic Conference competition in 2016. In terms of individual prowess, though, nobody rivaled Navy’s Keenan Reynolds.
Thumbnail San Diego State Season Win Total Prediction Through the years, San Diego State fans have been privileged to watch extraordinary individual talents like Marshall Faulk and La’Roi Glover. Last season,...
More inNCAAF Articles  

NCAAF Team Pages

Advertisement