Tommie Robinson Returns To USC As Running Backs Coach

    Tommie Robinson
    Jan. 19, 2016

    Tommie Robinson, who has coached running backs at the collegiate and NFL levels, has rejoined the USC staff as the running backs coach and run game coordinator after spending the past 2 seasons at Texas, Trojan head coach Clay Helton announced today (Jan. 19).

    Johnny Nansen, who coached running backs at USC the past 2 seasons in addition to being the special teams coordinator and assistant head coach, will become the Trojans’ linebackers coach and recruiting coordinator while retaining his assistant head coach role. Nansen, who played linebacker at Washington State, has spent 13 of his 18 coaching years on the defensive side of the ball, including handling linebackers for 3 years (2004-06) at Idaho.

    Tyson Helton, who was hired earlier this month as the running backs coach and pass game coordinator, will now coach USC’s quarterbacks while remaining as the pass game coordinator.

    John Baxter, who earlier this month was named USC’s special teams coordinator, also will coach the Trojan tight ends. He worked with that position previously at USC in 2013 and has coached tight ends in 13 of his 34 years as an assistant coach, including at Fresno State, Arizona and Tulane.

    “We are thrilled to welcome back Tommie Robinson to the Trojan Family,” said Clay Helton. “He is one of the most respected running back coaches in our profession. He has had an extensive career in both the NFL and college and he will pass on that knowledge to our young running back group. I have had the good fortune to work with Tommie on two different occasions, at USC and at Memphis, and have seen firsthand how he develops young men both on and off the field. He is a true professional and a terrific recruiter.”



    Robinson, 52, has 30 years of coaching experience. As Texas’ running backs coach in 2014 and 2015, he helped the Longhorns rank 17th in the nation in rushing in 2015, averaging 224.8 yards a game while scoring 27 times on the ground. UT played in the 2014 Texas Bowl.

    He was USC’s running backs coach and passing game coordinator in 2013. Troy’s 29 rushing touchdowns (all but 2 by running backs) were its most since 2005. The Trojans played in the Las Vegas Bowl.

    He handled the Arizona Cardinals’ running backs the previous 3 years (2010-12). In 2011, he helped Beanie Wells become the first player in franchise history to run for at least 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns. Wells also set a franchise game rushing record with 228 yards against the St. Louis Rams that season. The Cardinals’ rushing attack was hampered in 2012 by injuries and the 2010 offense was primarily pass oriented.

    He spent the previous 3 seasons (2007-09) as the running backs coach at Miami (Fla.), helping the Hurricanes to the 2008 Emerald Bowl and 2009 Champs Sports Bowl, after working in 2006 with the running back at Memphis.

    Before Memphis, he coached 4 seasons (2002-05) at Georgia Tech, coaching wide receivers the first year and then tight ends the next 3 seasons. Tech wideouts Kerry Watkins and Will Glover finished their careers in 2002 among the school’s Top 5 all-time receivers. Tight ends John Paul Foschi and Darius Williams played in the NFL. The Yellow Jackets played in the 2002 Silicon Valley Classic, 2004 Humanitarian Bowl and 2004 Champs Sports Bowl.

    He spent 2001 as the running backs coach at Oklahoma State, working with future NFLer Tatum Bell.

    He was an offensive assistant with the Dallas Cowboys for 3 years (1998-2000), working with the wide receivers (including future Hall of Famer Michael Irvin) and special teams. The 1998 and 1999 Cowboys advanced to the NFL playoffs and the 1998 squad won the NFC East title.

    He went to the Cowboys after a 3-month stop as the running backs coach at UNLV early in 1998. Before that, he coached running backs at Utah State for 2 years (1992-93), helping the Aggies to the 1993 Las Vegas Bowl, and wide receivers at TCU for 4 seasons (1994-97), as the Horned Frogs played in the 1994 Independence Bowl.

    He began his college coaching career as a graduate assistant at Arkansas in 1991, as the Razorbacks played in the 1991 Independence Bowl.

    He started coaching at the high school level, guiding Woodham High in Pensacola (Fla.) in 1986 and 1987 and Central High in Phenix City (Ala.), his alma mater, from 1988 to 1990.

    During his various college stops, he also served minority coaching internships with the New Orleans Saints, St. Louis Rams, Dallas Cowboys and Miami Dolphins.

    He was a 3-year starter at strong safety and team captain as a senior at Troy State, where he was a member of the 1984 Division II national championship team. He received his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice at Troy State in 1985.

    He was born on April 4, 1963. He and his wife, Lartonyar, have 3 children: sons Dantrell, 29, and Trey, 19, and daughter Tawanda, 22.