Robinson receives Athletic Director of The Year honor at NACDA Convention
Published 1:31 pm Friday, July 1, 2022
LAS VEGAS – Jackson State University Vice President / Director of Athletics Ashley Robinson was honored for his leadership as he received the prestigious 2021-2022 Cushman & Wakefield Athletic Director of the Year award by the National Association of College Directors of Athletics (NACDA).
Robinson was honored at the 57th Annual NACDA & Affiliates Convention at the Mandalay Bay Hotel. The elite recognition spans seven collegiate divisions (NCAA FBS, FCS, Division I-AAA, II, III, NAIA/Other Four-Year Institutions and Junior College/Community Colleges), as Robinson was one of 28 winners recognized Tuesday.
The Athletic Director of The Year Award highlights the efforts of athletics directors at all levels for their commitment and positive contributions to student-athletes, campuses, and their surrounding communities.
Completing his fourth year as athletic director at Jackson State, Robinson has continued to improve JSU athletics in the classroom and in competition.
JSU student-athletes combined to post a 3.2 grade-point average for the 2021-22 academic year, with 12 teams earning 3.0 GPAs with 55 graduates.
Among the on-field highlights during the past year, Jackson State won its first Southwestern Athletic Conference football championship since 2007.
Women’s basketball became the first SWAC team in more than a decade to win three consecutive league regular season championships while also winning back-to-back conference tournament titles. JSU men’s cross country won the SWAC Championship, women’s volleyball won its second consecutive SWAC Regular Season championship, and women’s tennis won its second straight SWAC regular season title and first conference championship since 2005.
Always visionary and forward-thinking, three of Robinson’s football hires, all first-time college head coaches at the time, earned postseason play in Fall 2021. Willie Simmons, whom Robinson hired at Prairie View A&M in 2015, led Florida A&M to an at-large berth in the FCS Playoffs, the first for a SWAC school in more than 20 years. Eric Dooley, who Robinson hired to replace Simmons prior to the 2018 season, led Prairie View A&M to the SWAC Football Championship game for the first time since 2009.
In perhaps his boldest decision, Robinson and JSU leadership named Pro Football Hall of Famer Deion Sanders as head coach of Jackson State. T
he hire of Sanders not only galvanized JSU football but transformed college athletics on and off the field.
Sanders led JSU to an 11-2 record and the SWAC Championship in 2021 while elevating the Jackson State University brand to become one of the most recognized in sports and culture today.
Jackson State set an FCS in football attendance last fall, averaging more than 42,000 fans.