He will be missed – Will Robinson dies at age 96

by | Apr 28, 2008 | 9 comments

A truly sad day….
“Will Robinson, who was the first black coach of a Division I college basketball program and a legendary evaluator of talent in both basketball and football, died on Monday. He was 96.

Robinson died at a Detroit hospital, said Detroit Pistons spokesman Matt Dobek. Robinson had been sick for 15 months and in a nursing home for more than a year, Dobek said.

Robinson made history when he became the first black Division I coach, leading Illinois State in the 1970s.

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He joined the Pistons as a scout in 1976 and discovered Joe Dumars and Dennis Rodman, key players on Detroit’s 1989 and 1990 NBA championship teams coached by Chuck Daly – who took the job after Robinson declined former general manager Jack McCloskey’s offer.

“Will Robinson was truly a legend and will be missed dearly,” Dumars said. “He was a huge inspiration for me and so many others. He was simply the best.”” Via The Detroit Free Press

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The Pistons lose a Legend

Detroit Legend Dies

He will be missed.


  1. Richie


  2. Jess

    Very sad…


  3. Amanda

    I didn’t really know a whole lot about Will Robinson until I read the articles at Pistons.com and DetNews. From what I read he was an awesome guy who seemed to live a long and fulfilling life. \

    If Heaven exists, may he have an absolute blast looking down and watching the Pistons win another ‘ship in June!

  4. DetroitGirl4Ever


  5. Badboys

    I went to the Isiah Thomas basketball camp at Country Day high school in 1993-1995 and the first year I went I came wearing a Shaq Orlando jersey and shorts not knowing the dress code was wear white shorts and you will receive a Isiah red camp jersey.

    The coaches were real hard on me for that I was just a kid and here comes Will Robinson takes me under his shoulder tells me everything was going to be all right buys me a pair of white $12.00 shorts from a shop they have in front of the school and tells the coaches to take it easy on me were all here to learn the game of basketball and have fun and ever since then I’ve respected this man. RIP Will We Will Miss You.

  6. The Fluidics

    Great story badboys.

  7. Natalie Sitto

    Thank you so much for sharing that Badboys. Though I never met him these are the kinds of stories I always hear about him.

  8. Dominic

    I’ve just recently learned about Will Robinson and his contribution to the Pistons and sadly before I could fully appreciate what he had done for this franchise he passed away. May he rest in peace hopefully those 96 years were filled with happiness.

    Does anyone else find it hard to comprehend he lived through WWII? it seemed so far away I guess it’s because I’m studying it now. Everything in Social Studies seems ages ago

  9. Mustafa


    He will be missed. He was well respected by many fans around the states.


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