NORMAN, Okla. - Air Force men's gymnastics assistant coach Jeff Robinson received the College Gymnastics Association's Honor Coach Award this evening (April 8) at the NCAA Championships Banquet in Norman, Okla. The Honor Coach distinction is the highest award presented by the coaches' association.
Honor Coach status is awarded "in recognition of service to coaching and developing gymnasts for over twenty-five years." With the honor, "he has gained the respect of associates in the gymnastics world by his inspiring example and accomplishments."
Robinson has been involved with gymnastics for over 30 years, ranging from performance to hands-on teaching and coaching. He has also spent over 25 years in a variety of capacities for the USA Gymnastics Men's Program.
He is in his fifth season with the Falcons' program, having joined the coaching staff in the fall of 2010. With Robinson on the sidelines, Air Force has claimed five consecutive USAG National Championships and qualified as a team the NCAA National Qualifier every year. The Falcons have also claimed five titles at the All-Academy Championships, posted their highest finisher ever at the NCAA qualifier and accounted for program-best marks in every event. Robinson has earned the USAG Assistant Coach of the Year award four times in his tenure.
Robinson has worked with USA Gymnastics since 1986, including three years as the Junior Olympic Program Coordinator (2006-08). He also served two terms as chairman of the men's age group competition committee, worked on the Task Force for Elite Training Alternatives committee and has served as a guest clinician and presenter at numerous USAG Men's Coaching Workshops and at the USAG National and Regional Congress. He was honored with the Frank Comiskey Service Award in 2011, which recognized the work he has done with the Junior Program. It is the highest honor awarded to an administrator of the USAG Junior Program.
He spent 10 years at Orlando Metro Gymnastics, a club that he co-founded in 1992. As the men's program director and head coach, Robinson helped develop 10 members of the U.S. Junior and Senior National Teams. He also worked as the head coach for the Barbados International Men's Gymnastics Delegation and served as the personal coach for Shane DeFreitas, who competed at the 1995 World Championships, the 1996 I.E.F. World Championships and the 1996 Olympic Games.
Robinson also served as the boy's program director and head coach at Brown's Gymnastics Central (1984-88) and as the general manager, program director and head coach at Gymnastics Plus (1983-84).
A FIG Level III Brevet Coach, Robinson received numerous coaching awards while at the club level in Florida. A member of the inaugural USA Gymnastics Region VIII Hall of Fame in 2010, he has also been named Coach of the Year for the Florida USAG Men's Program (2003) and by the Seminole Country School Board (1989).
Head coach Kip Simons was also recognized tonight, as he received a Special Service Award for his work hosting the 2015 USA Gymnastics Collegiate National Championships.
Robinson, Simons and the rest of the 10th-ranked Air Force men's gymnastics team open competition at the NCAA Championships tomorrow afternoon during the first national qualifying session.