JOSHUA — The Joshua Fightin’ Owls have found their man. Joshua Athletic Director Mike Burt announced Gary Robinson, former Krum head football coach and athletic director, as the Owls’ new head football coach Thursday afternoon.
Joshua had more than 140 coaches apply for the position before narrowing down the search to five finalists, when they ultimately decided on Robinson, who “just stood out,” Burt said.
“It was a very positive search,” Burt said. “We narrowed it down to five guys and brought them in last week. They met with a committee that included school board members, administration and football parents. We had some really good guys apply … a bunch of guys with experience.
“I’ve heard this term used in coaching circles the last 20 years, you’re looking for ‘a fit.’ Going into it, the biggest thing I pushed is I wanted somebody who’s the right fit for our kids. It was all about, ‘Who can we get that’s the best fit for our kids?’ There were five good ones, and there could’ve been more than five if we didn’t narrow it down. But Coach Robinson just stood out. He really stood out. He’s a kid magnet and a good motivator. And, obviously, X’s and O’s, he’s done a great job.”
Robinson started the football program at Krum, a longtime basketball powerhouse, in 2008. After a few years of playing a junior varsity schedule and then an “outlaw” schedule, Robinson led the Bobcats to immediate success in their debut season of UIL competition in 2012, going 9-2 and making the playoffs.
Robinson said the community of Joshua as well as the challenge of leading the Owls to the playoffs for the first time since 1996 were a couple primary reasons he was attracted to the position.
“Joshua is one of those towns that’s kind of a small-town feel but has the room for big growth,” Robinson said. “I think it’s a good place to raise a family. I think it’s going to be a good challenge to get these guys in the playoffs. Coach Burt’s done an outstanding job getting the program turned around and moving in the right direction. I feel like we can springboard off what Coach Burt’s done and get this thing rolling.”
Burt has served as Joshua’s head football coach and athletic director the past five years, but Joshua ISD recently decided to split the athletic director and head football coach jobs into two positions, like most Class 5A programs.
Robinson guided Krum to the playoffs each of his five seasons at the helm, compiling an overall record of 37-23 before resigning in May this year to take care of his seven-year-old son, who was diagnosed with Neurofibromatosis Type 1, a rare genetic disorder.
“We’re doing good,” Robinson said. “He’s a lot better. … We’ve been to a lot of specialists and a lot of doctors and they say hopefully it’s going to be mild for him.”
Prior to his eight-plus years in Krum, Robinson was previously head football coach at Poteet and Fort Worth All Saints. His coaching career began at Coppell as an assistant.
Robinson said he wants his football program to be a close-knit family and described himself as a coach with one word.
“Intense — I’m an intense coach, in a good way,” Robinson said. “I like to teach these kids two things: to love one another and respect one another. When it’s all said and done, these kids are going to play hard for each other, love each other and respect each other. We talk about that all the time. They’re going to be brothers.
“It’s one of those things where they get so tight and respect each other so much that we don’t want them to leave it here in the program; lets take it out in the world. This world needs more respect and love, and we’re going to do our part in making the world better.”
On the field, Robinson said they’ll be a spread multiple offense. Defensively, he said he prefers a 4-2-5 defense but he will meet with his new coaching staff after Christmas to start going over X’s and O’s.
Robinson is a Brewer High School graduate and was a 2010 inductee into Brewer’s Athletic Hall of Fame. He graduated from the University of North Texas in 1994 before going back in the early 2000’s to earn his master’s degree.
In 2015, Robinson was named the Lone Star Gridiron 4A Coach of the Year after leading Krum to the region finals before losing to Celina. He’s also been named all-district coach of the year three times.
Burt said Robinson was introduced to the Joshua student-athletes Thursday afternoon and will meet with the coaches after the holidays. Burt also said there will be a “meet-and-greet” for Robinson at some point after the holiday break.
Article written by the Cleburne Times Review.