The coaching carousel is twirling full tilt in Gainesville this holiday season. With the ever-swinging door of the Gators football facility, one person that seems to be toying at the hinges is Travaris Robinson, or T-Rob is he is colloquially known.
The Florida football defensive backs coach has been with the Gators since 2011, when he was hired by Will Muschamp into his position. Robinson has been apart of Muschamp and Tommy Tuberville coaching tree his whole career. A native of Miami, Florida, Robinson played for Tuberville at Auburn and then spent three years in the NFL. In 2006 he returned to the Plains to join Tuberville and new defensive coordinator Muschamp as a graduate assistant.
After wrapping up his fourth year Robinson has proved crucial to the Gators success in numerous ways. Players often laud Robinson’s ability to connect to the guys and get the best out of them in games. It shows, as Florida’s secondary has consistently been dominant, even in 2014 when many expected a drop off with a new wave of players coming in.
Now with that carousel picking up speed fueled by rumors of Robinson possibly joining Muschamp at Auburn, the questions arises, how vital is it to retain Robinson on new head coach Jim McElwain’s staff?
Former Gators safety Josh Evans (now with the Jacksonville Jaguars in the NFL) says that keeping Robinson is key to sustaining the success Florida has come to know in the backfield.
“I mean you got Vernon Hargreaves and them young guys there, that’s future NFL players and when you’ve got a great position coach like him you want to keep him there and build on that communication and chemistry. It’s tough to learn a technique for your first two years in college and then you bring in a whole new guy and you’re learning a whole new way of playing the game.”
Evans goes on to say that chemistry and consistency is just one facet of Robinson’s value though.
“He’s a great coach, young coach, understands the game… So it’s just great to have somebody like him who played in the NFL, understand the position and fundamentally sound.”
As someone who played under Robinson when the Gators defense led the team to an 11-win season, and now starts in the NFL, Evans is excited about what he perceives as a bright future with Robinson at the helm.
“They got a good defense, young players, definitely secondary…them boys play well. You have freshman coming in here catching interceptions and I think it’s a credit to him.”
Some of those freshmen, Jalen Tabor, Duke Dawson and Quincy Wilson would make many a DB coach flock to Gainesville to be their new coach. But as a former student under Robinson’s tutelage, Josh Evans knows who the best guy for the job is.
“I’m a big fan of T-Rob.”