Year: Third season at VCU
Tarrell Robinson enters his third season as an assistant under head women’s basketball coach Beth Cunningham. Robinson was promoted to associate head coach in May after serving as the program’s recruiting coordinator in 2010-11. During his two seasons in Richmond, the Rams have made back-to-back postseason appearances including a run to the third round of the WNIT in 2010. He will continue to help oversee opponent scouting, while providing a valuable in-game coaching presence.
"Tarrell is an outstanding basketball coach and we're very fortunate to have him a part of our program," Cunningham said. "He has been instrumental to our success during the last two years, both on and off the court, and I'm very excited to have him remain a part of our program. He has played a key role in terms of individual player development and his knowledge during practice and games, while his knack for recruiting has allowed us to sign two of the top classes in program history. Tarrell has made a tremendous impact on our program and this is certainly a well-deserved promotion.”
Robinson assumed the role of recruiting coordinator after just his first season with the Rams, helping land back-to-back classes that have ranked among the best in the Colonial Athletic Association. Robinson helped land 2011 second team All-CAA performer Andrea Barbour, a one-time McDonalds High School All-American Semifinalist and 2008 All-Atlantic Coast Conference Rookie selection at Virginia Tech, while also signing four players ranked among the top-30 at their position in the country. This year's class includes perhaps the Rams' most heavily recruited high school player during Cunningham's tenure in 6-3 center Aprill McRae, graded as the 22nd-ranked post player in the nation, according to ESPN.
Prior to joining the women's basketball program at VCU, Robinson spent five years as an assistant at North Carolina A&T with his final season as the associate head coach under head coach Patricia Cage-Bibbs. From 2007-2009, he helped guide the Aggies to a 51-15 record, back-to-back regular season MEAC championships, their first MEAC Tournament title since 1994, and the league's automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament, where N.C. A&T drew a 14-seed, the highest-ever for a MEAC women's team at the time. Robinson was instrumental in the Aggies being one of the most high-powered offensive teams in the country ranking 13th and seventh, respectively, in scoring offense. The Aggies were also proficient on the defensive side, ranking second and fifth nationally in steals per game during their championship runs.
Robinson was also responsible for recruiting during his time at N.C. A&T. He helped sign the most highly touted recruit in the program's history in Jaleesa Sams, who was ranked as high as No. 31 nationally by Scouts.com, and secured Ta'Wuana Cook, who became the first N.C. A&T player to receive MEAC Rookie of the Year honors. Robinson also helped lure transfer Brittanie Taylor-James to the Aggies, who garnered league MVP honors as a senior. During Robinson’s tenure, N.C. A&T had 13 all-conference selections.
Robinson began his coaching career during the 2001-02 season when he held the graduate assistant post for the N.C. A&T men's basketball team under head coach Curtis Hunter. There, he assisted with individual skill development, served as the film exchange coordinator and helped organize the summer basketball camp. The following year, Robinson began his first stint with the Aggies' women's basketball program when he was named assistant coach and recruiting coordinator.
During his four-year playing career at N.C. A&T from 1997-2001, Robinson scored 934 points, hauled in more than 700 rebounds and blocked 35 shots, while averaging 11.5 points and 7.4 rebounds per game during his junior and senior seasons. The Fayetteville, N.C. native attended E.E. Smith High School, where as a senior he was an all-conference and all-region performer, while helping lead the Golden Bulls to a conference championship and regional runner-up finish in the state playoffs.
Robinson and his wife, Kelli, currently reside in Midlothian, Va., and have three children, Jordan (8), Jada (4) and Lauren (2).