May 20, 2011

ROBINSON PROMOTED TO ASSOCIATE HEAD WOMEN’S BASKETBALL COACH

RICHMOND, Va. – Virginia Commonwealth University head women's basketball coach Beth Cunningham announced Friday that Tarrell Robinson has been promoted to the role of associate head coach.

Robinson spent the previous two seasons as an assistant at VCU, while serving as recruiting coordinator last year.

"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.  He will continue to help oversee opponent scouting, while providing a valuable in-game coaching presence.

"I'm grateful for the opportunity that Coach Cunningham and VCU have given me," said Robinson.  "I look forward to the challenges ahead and I'm excited to continue building on the winning tradition of women's basketball here at VCU."

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.  Robinson helped land 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 associate head coach.  In 2008-09, he helped guide the Aggies to a 26-6 record, a second-straight regular season MEAC championship, its 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.

During his time with the Aggies, Robinson was instrumental in the program's recruiting success.  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 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.  There, he assisted with individual skill development, served as the film exchange coordinator and organized 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.

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