Stoops finalizes his first staff at Arizona

University of Arizona coach Mike Stoops has added the final piece of the puzzle to his coaching staff, bringing Joe Robinson on board to be defensive ends coach and special teams coordinator.

Robinson, 43, brings more than a decade of experience as either a recruiting or special teams coordinator, and has coached on both sides of the ball. He was special teams coordinator and linebackers coach last year at Central Florida. He was special teams coordinator at Houston in 2002, running backs coach and recruiting coordinator at Louisiana Tech in 2001, and spent seven seasons with Southern Mississippi from 1992 to 1998.

"Special teams is my passion," Robinson said. "I'm thrilled that Mike called, and I'm eager to be working on that aspect of the program. I'm excited to join the staff."

"Joe brings a ton of experience, not only as a defensive ends coach," Stoops said. "but also working with special teams. Those units will be a big part of our program from day one."

Robinson will arrive in Tucson this weekend in time to help put the final touches on recruiting prior to Wednesday's signing date.

At Southern Miss, Robinson was special teams coordinator for the last three years of his tenure, and was recruiting coordinator during the last six years. He coached linebackers from 1994 to 1996, and coached the defensive line in 1992 and 1993. He earned a master's degree in education from Southern Mississippi in 1994.

Prior to that post, he coached for three years at Louisiana Tech - the first in 1989 as a graduate assistant and from 1990-91 as the defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator.

Robinson began his career shortly after earning his bachelor's degree in education from Louisiana State in 1985. He was defensive coordinator at Catholic High of Pointe Coupee in New Roads, La. in 1986, and then was head coach at Pointe Coupee in 1987. In 1988 he served as defensive coordinator at Bastrop, La. High School.

Robinson's 2003 units at Central Florida put up some good numbers. The Golden Knights blocked seven kicks - four punts and three field goals and punter Matt Prater led the nation with a 47.95 average on 58 kicks. UCF was second nationally with a 41.9 net punting average, and returners Luther Huggins and Tavaris Capers ranked nationally - Huggins at 25th with a 25.44 kickoff return average and Capers 51st with a 9.67-yard punt return average. Prater, a Ray Guy Award candidate, earned second-team All-Mid-American Conference honors and also connected on 14 of 21 field goal tries.

In his year at Houston, the Cougars led Conference USA in net punting (35.9) after finishing 10th the year before. Field goal kicker Dustin Bell hit 12 of 14 tries and was a semi-finalist for the Lou Groza Award. Houston improved in both kickoff and punt return averages and coverages under Robinson's direction.

While at Louisiana Tech, the Bulldogs won the 2001 Western Athletic Conference title and appeared in the 2001 Humanitarian Bowl. Running back Joe Smith earned second-team All-WAC honors under Robinson's tutelage and gained more yards than a Tech back had in seven seasons. Robinson's special teams units at Southern Miss led the nation in kick returns in 1997 and posted top 10 finished in five other categories during his tenure in Hattiesburg. His defensive line helped the team lead the nation in turnovers gained in 1994.

The 1997 Southern Mississippi team won the Conference USA Championship, split in 1996 during Robinson's tenure and won the Liberty Bowl in 1997. In Robinson's first stint at Louisiana Tech, his defensive line helped the defense ranked eighth in the nation in rushing defense in 1991, and ranked 19th in scoring defense in 1990.

Robinson and his wife, Abby, have three daughters, Alexandra (10), Madeline (8) and Valerie (5).


Wildcat Authority Top Stories