Bobby Robinson Will Retire

Clemson University Athletic Director Bobby Robinson has notified President James F. Barker that he plans to retire as athletic director effective June 30, 2002. Robinson has been at Clemson since 1970 and is completing his 17th year as director of athletics.

"This has been an unbelievable privilege to work at Clemson University. Few people have the opportunity to do the job they always wanted to do in the place they always wanted to be," Robinson said.

"I will always be grateful to the Clemson family for that privilege. However, nothing lasts forever, and I believe one person doing this job for 17 years at one institution is long enough." Barker said the university will miss Robinson's leadership and service.

"Bobby has helped build one of the nation's best athletic programs, and the fact that this position will be so attractive to candidates is Bobby's legacy," he said. "We will miss his talents and his dedication, and I would sincerely love for him to continue to have a role at Clemson beyond June, but I know that he has other options to weigh. All of us wish him the very best."

Robinson said he had been weighing the decision for months, and had discussed the possibility with Barker as far back as August. "This is not a rash decision," he said, noting that he had finalized the decision on January 15 in order to give the university adequate time to conduct a national search for his successor.

Barker said he personally will oversee the search for a new athletic director, with assistance from NCAA Faculty Representative Cecil Huey and Vice President for Advancement Neill Cameron. Barker said he would like to have a successor named before Robinson leaves the position.

"I don't know of many people who are fortunate to work at one institution for 32 years and be able to leave on their own terms," Robinson said. "While there is never a perfect time to leave, the most appropriate and best time to leave is when things are going well. We are operating in the black financially, IPTAY is at record levels, Tiger Pride is doing an excellent job, there are no academic problems, no NCAA compliance issues, and our projects are on schedule. We have completed the NCAA self study and Southern Association of Colleges and Schools accreditation reports, and our overall athletic program is in great shape and doing well competitively.

"Clemson is positioned to achieve great things both academically and athletically. I am confident that new and fresh leadership will enhance our ability to achieve the goals of the university," he said. "I want to personally thank President Barker for his support of the athletic program. With Jim Barker at the helm, we are in great hands. I will be our greatest fan and supporter, and I look forward to exciting things at Clemson in the years ahead."

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