Jim grew up in Toledo in an area called Point Place. He attended Toledo Public Schools grade one through twelve. He was a three-sport athlete at Woodward High School, playing football, basketball, and baseball earning seven varsity letters. In addition to his athletic involvement, Jim was a four-year member of the Student Council and Senior Class Officer. He is a member of the Woodward High School Hall of Fame, and also a member of the Toledo City League Hall of Fame.
After high school graduation in 1961, he earned a Bachelor of Education Degree from Ohio State University in 1966, and a Master’s Degree in Administration and Supervision from the University of Toledo in 1970. In 1980 he was initiated into Phi Delta Kappa International. Over his long career, he was a teacher, an assistant principal, a principal, a city recreation director, a coach of many sports (39 years as a basketball coach) and a college assistant coach!
Coach Robinson’s first teaching and coaching assignment (while at OSU) was at the Ohio State School for the Deaf in Columbus using sign language to communicate with his team. At the age of 22, he was named the head basketball coach at Port Clinton High School in 1966. In 1971, he made his way to Cincinnati Western Hills for two years, and then returned to Toledo for three seasons at St. Francis DeSales. From there he traveled south to Lima Senior High for three seasons and the north again to Toledo Libbey.
In April 0f 1980 Jim accepted an assistant coaching position at University of Akron. In 1983 he returned to the high school level at Maumee High School near Toledo. Coach then retired after fourteen years at Maumee. One year later, he came out of retirement to coach one season at Millbury Lake High School and then returned to Maumee for seven more seasons. A second retirement lasted only two years and Jim took over at Maumee Valley Country Day for four seasons, finishing his final year at 22-2 and a regional appearance.
Jim is one of two coaches to be named Toledo Blade Coach of the Year twice. His teams won 15 league titles and he received over 20 Coach of the Year awards. He coached in 12 District All-Star games and led Ohio twice in the Ohio-Indiana Border war games. In April of 2013 he coached in the Division 3 & 4 North-South game in Columbus. Coach is also a member of the District 7 Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame. He finished his coaching career at 531 varsity basketball victories and over 700 wins in all sports combined!
In 1965 Jim married Carol Culp. Carol is a 1961 Toledo DeVilbiss High School and a 1965 Ohio State graduate. She is a former OSU cheerleader, has a Master’s Degree from the University of Toledo and taught in Ohio for 46 years! She and Jim have three children and nine grandchildren. They enjoy time at their cottage in Northern Michigan and golf at Heatherdowns Country Club in Toledo. Jim is grateful to his family and all of the wonderful kids who touched his life. When informed of his selection into the Ohio High School Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame, he was humbled and proud to have been a part of Ohio basketball history both as a player and a coach.