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Former Grambling coach struggling with Alzheimer's

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  • Former Grambling coach struggling with Alzheimer's

    July 21, 2004

    GRAMBLING, La. (AP) Eddie Robinson, college football's second-winningest coach, has Alzheimer's, his wife said.


    "He's pretty bad," Doris Robinson said Wednesday. "He gets a little bit worse every day. He comes to the table for breakfast, but after that he wants to go right to bed."

    During his 57 years at Grambling, a career which spanned 11 presidents, several wars and the civil rights movement, Robinson compiled a record of 408-165-15.

    His teams had only eight losing seasons and won 17 conference titles and nine national black college championships.

    John Gagliardi of St. John's, Minn., passed Robinson last season and has 414 wins.

    Robinson, 85, started showing signs of the disease soon after his retirement from Grambling after the 1997 season, his wife said. The couple went to hospitals in New Orleans, Dallas and Houston trying to find help, she said.

    "Eddie Junior and his wife, the four of us would just get in the car and go anywhere trying to get something done," she said. "I don't guess Alzheimer's has done him any worse than it's done anybody else. We're trying to live with it."

    The Robinsons could go out to lunch as recently as two months ago, Doris Robinson said. Eddie Robinson can no longer do that.

    "If I let myself, I could cry," Doris Robinson said. "But I don't have time to do that. I never thought I would be the strong one, but I have to be now."

    The Associated Press News Service

    Copyright 2004, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved