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Texas A&M Football

Robinson to finish 'the right way' by coaching A&M in the Texas Bowl

December 5, 2023
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Elijah Robinson, who recently accepted a defensive coordinator position at Syracuse, reiterated on Tuesday that he will still serve as Texas A&M’s interim head football coach in the 2023 TaxAct Texas Bowl.

The Aggies (7-5) face No. 20 Oklahoma State (9-4) on Dec. 27 at NRG Stadium in Houston.

Robinson has served as A&M’s interim coach since the firing of former head coach Jimbo Fisher on Nov. 12. Mike Elko has been named as Fisher’s successor.

There were questions about whether Robinson would remain in that role after he accepted the position at Syracuse on Sunday.

“When Ross (Bjork, Texas A&M’s Director of Athletics) asked me to step into this role to be the interim head coach, I told (media) I was going to do everything possible as long as I could to support this team, support this program and do right by this team,” Robinson said in a press conference via Zoom. “I’m honored to still be able to finish this race out and represent this university and represent this team in a bowl game. I’m looking forward to it.”

Robinson said co-offensive coordinator/tight ends coach James Coley and offensive analyst Jim Chaney would call plays in the Texas Bowl.

However, he couldn’t yet say which Aggies would not play or when bowl practice would start.

Receiver Ainias Smith is out because of a broken finger, but there have yet to be any other players announce to be sitting out with injuries, entering the transfer portal or opting out to prepare for the NFL Draft.

“I’m honored to still be able to finish this race out and represent this university and represent this team in a bowl game. I’m looking forward to it.”
- Interim head coach Elijah Robinson

“I know there’s a few guys, injury-wise, (but) I don’t know what their plans are as far as getting surgery now or what,” Robinson said. “Or is there older guys that are going to prepare for the next level? I do not know the answer to that.”

Perhaps a greater question A&M fans have is whether Robinson, who several players supported as a head coach candidate, will recruit A&M players to join him at Syracuse.

He emphatically said he would not. But then added the caveat unless they’re in the transfer portal.

“I would not encourage anyone (to leave),” Robinson said. “Those guys have to make a decision on their own to get in the portal. I would not at any point say, ‘Hey, come with me.” That’s not the way I do things. I have too much respect for the university, too much respect for President (Mark) Walsh and too much respect for Mike Elko.

“Will guys get in the portal? Yes. But until that happens, I’m not going to tell anybody to get in the portal and follow me.

“I am not looking to actively recruit our guys. That’s not who I am.”

Robinson said that he has encouraged players to give Elko a chance to assemble a new staff and build relationships with them before deciding whether to enter the portal.

So far, just seven A&M players have entered the transfer portal, which opened on Dec. 4 and extends for 30 days.

“I’m really proud of guys taking the time to give coach Elko the opportunity to build his staff,” Robinson said. “And get a chance to see exactly who is going to be coaching those guys. I encourage those guys on the team to do that.”

That includes star defensive tackle Walter Nolen, who is reportedly considering the portal. Nolen was the nation’s No. 1 ranked prospect in the 2022 recruiting class.

Robinson encouraged Nolen to get to know newly hired defensive line coach Sean Spencer.

Jamie Maury, TexAgs
Nolen has accounted for 37 tackles this season, including four sacks.

“I told Walt to give coach Spencer an opportunity to build a relationship with you,” Robinson said. “I’m pretty sure teams have been trying to get Walter to get in the portal because of the talented kid he is.

“I made sure I reached out to every D-lineman that played for me, reached out to their parents, and I continued to let them know I spent some years with coach Elko. He’s a great coach, a great man. He’s going to put a great defense on the field. Give the new staff an opportunity to show what they’re going to do with them and what’s their plan for them.”

Robinson, who is completing his sixth season at A&M, reiterated he would not have left if not for being offered a defensive coordinator position.

He also said he wouldn’t accept a position unless he was allowed to coach A&M in the Texas Bowl.

“A few schools offered me a DC opportunity,” he said. “As I weighed all those options, I made sure that I talked to each program that offered me a DC job that I wanted to make sure I finished at A&M the right way. Each school I talked to told me that would not be an issue.”

Discussion from...

Robinson to finish 'the right way' by coaching A&M in the Texas Bowl

12,915 Views | 17 Replies | Last: 4 mo ago by redassag12
aeon-ag
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HOOOOOOOO WAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!
Oldfart2
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Sounds like a man of character. Good luck at your next post, Coach.
WC94
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lagoag
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Hell yeah, now that man has some honor. This is the way you coach and teach young men to show them how it's done. I'm going to miss him even more now.
LincolnBorglum79
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AG
He is a class act and perhaps will return someday to rejoin us after he helps his friend get established.
Iraq2xVeteran
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AG
He made a noble and classy move. Best of luck at your next position as Syracuse Defensive coordinator, coach Elijah Robinson.
DTuba
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LatinAggie1997
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TAMU74
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AG
I'm excited to hear that Coach Robinson will be coaching at the Texas bowl.
I congratulate him on his new position as DC at Syracuse.
However, working for a close friend is not always as great as one might believe.
Matsui
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Frank Grimes
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AG
Thank you, coach.
jrgypsum
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Gig'em Coach

We are the Aggies
Lake08
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Meh. He gone. Let an aggie coach handle this.
sf04
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Best of luck to you, coach! You're gonna be missed! Will def. be following Cuse football as well next season!
fav13andac1)c
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AG
What a legend. ERob is speaking with his actions. Syracuse is getting a hell of a coach. I wish him the best and hope he somehow ends up back at A&M one day.
eATMup-Reveille
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Lake08 said:

Meh. He gone. Let an aggie coach handle this.


LOL…I bet you give great eulogies!!
redassag12
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AG
Wish he would have stayed on with the program
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