By Eric Butler: Freedom Newspapers
CLOVIS — Though he’s tried to step away from the game before, this time Jimmy Joe Robinson said it’s for good.
The Clovis Christian boys basketball coach has decided to retire and end a 34-year stretch in which he was also a head coach at Clovis High, Melrose, Grady and, for one season, Lubbock Coronado. His overall coaching record stands at 556-237 after the Eagles went 16-11 this past season.
Randy McBroom, who has coached the school’s junior high team the last three years, will take over for Robinson.
“I’ve got a grandson (Josiah Boyd) that’s playing over at Lubbock Trinity (high school) and I really want to watch him play,” Robinson said. “And I’ve got a granddaughter, Bethany, who was the MVP of her junior high team — so those two I’ll get to watch.
“The other reason is that, about two months ago, I had chest pains early in the morning. I prayed and it went away after about five minutes, but I thought I was fixing to go away and be with Jesus. I get too gung-ho and I go too hard at it. I’m 70 and I think it’s just time for me to quit and watch.”
McBroom is a 2000 graduate of Lordsburg High School, where his father Rickie McBroom was the boys basketball coach. After high school, he played basketball and baseball at Southwestern Assemblies of God in Waxahachie, Texas.
“I’m excited; I think we have a very good team coming back,” said McBroom, adding that he tried to learn as much as possible from Robinson. “We’re starting once track’s over — we’re going to play in the Clovis summer league and go to a couple of team camps.
“Many times we just sat and talked — he has a lot of knowledge,” McBroom said of Robinson. “He’s an awesome man. I’ve very much enjoyed working with him these last few years, working under him and learning from him.”
As assistant on the Clovis High basketball team for four years, Robinson took the CHS head job in 1971 and stayed until the 1983-84 season. The shining moment for Robinson’s Wildcats came in 1978-79, when Clovis won the Class 4A state championship and suffered only one loss.
Robinson went to Coronado for one season, and then — after a stint in the insurance business — coached at Grady from 1986-89.
Moving to Melrose, Robinson had some of his greatest success as the Buffaloes won Class 1A state titles in 1992 and 1993.
Though prompted by knee surgery to retire once in the late 1990s, it was a layoff that lasted only two years. Robinson returned to Melrose and guided the Buffs to another 1A state championship in 2001.
Another retirement lasted for another two years until he took the Clovis Christian job in 2004.
“I’ll miss the kids. The kids were a great bunch to coach,” Robinson said. “I think I’ll probably watch our Clovis Christian bunch play, watch Clovis play a little bit, but I’m really going to be over there (in Lubbock) a lot.”