Robinson made widespread impact in various roles


(Editor’s note – Local legend Doug Robinson, a coach at several local high schools and also a key figure for sports at LSUS, passed away in his sleep Friday night at age 79. A couple of months ago, he was a pallbearer for his longtime friend Lee Hedges. Robinson was the subject of this June 28, 2022 ‘Coaches Corner’ SBJ feature. He’s still the right answer.)

If you ever need to win a bet on local sports trivia, put this one in your back pocket: Who was the last Shreveport-Bossier baseball team to win a state championship in the highest classification?

Most likely, you’ll get plenty of wrong guesses, because the last high school to win a state title in the highest class isn’t even a high school any more. It’s the 1970 Fair Park Indians, coached by a man who always considered himself as a football guy, even though he has played a significant role on more than one occasion in local baseball.

Doug Robinson, 78, has fond memories of coaching the Indians to that state title. But that’s no surprise because it seems like Robinson has nothing on fond memories of every coaching stop he has made.

“There were some great, great moments in just about everywhere I went,” he says. “I don’t know how these coaches win all these state championships because it’s so hard just to win one. I was young and probably didn’t understand. I guess I thought it was easy.”

He was only 26 when he led the Indians to the state championship, just a few years removed from his first coaching job at Bunkie. But he was a Fair Park graduate and he wanted to get back to his alma mater as soon as he could. That opportunity came soon.

“I had actually gone down to the coaching clinic with Woodlawn,” he remembers, “and came back with Fair Park.”

After winning the state championship in Class AAA (at the time, the highest class) with a 7-5 victory over Jesuit (New Orleans), Doug Robinson would only coach one more year of high school baseball in his lengthy career. And not at Fair Park.

Following the 1970 season, Robinson found himself in what almost all coaches at that time now call “the changeover” as schools were desegregated. He was assigned to Green Oaks – finding out just a few days before the school year started — and he spent the next few decades going from one opportunity to the next.

He left to become at graduate assistant at Northwestern State but legendary coach James Farrar, who had been at Fair Park in the 1960s, brought him back to help start a baseball program at Southfield, a Class A school that, like Fair Park, no longer exists as a high school.

Robinson coached football and only one season of baseball at Southfield before moving to Woodlawn, first as an assistant for some deep playoff runs by the Knights and then as head football coach from 1981-83. But his sons were at Captain Shreve “and I didn’t want to coach against them,” so he became an assistant for the Gators.

But that’s not all he did during that time.

While serving as an assistant for the Gators, Robinson also started the baseball program at LSUS and coached the Pilots from 1990-95. That fall, he returned to being a head football coach, this time at Southwood, where he would stay for five seasons.

When LSUS wanted to expand its athletic program, Robinson got the call. He instituted basketball and soccer teams for both men and women. He stayed as the school’s AD for 10 years and was inducted into the school’s athletic Hall of Fame in 2021.

Still, he says it wasn’t easy to stop being a coach. “It was horrible, but I realized I had the opportunity to make something big at LSUS,” he says. “I always thought that was a gold mine sitting out there. There are so many players in the area that get overlooked. It was a struggle at first; there wasn’t much money.”

What he remembers the most are the players and coaches that he worked with. And just like a life-long coach, he can still rattle off specific plays and scores from game after game, from decades long gone by.

Also just like a veteran coach, he is quick to offer advice for any coach.

“The number one thing is to work as hard as you can and be fair to those kids,” he says. “I was always going to play the best players I got. But the bottom line is you got to work because there’s someone out there looking to take your place.” 

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