Wrestling Coaching Great Pete Robinson Dies at Age 82

December 24, 2003
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

Dec. 24, 2003

NORFOLK, VA.-- Pete Robinson, ODU's wrestling coach from 1957-1983, where he developed three individual national champions, 12 Division II All-Americans and four Division I All-AllAmericans passed away on Dec. 23 at the age of 82. When he retired in 1983 he had comiled a 172-133-7 record.

Three of Robinson's wrestlers, Carl Ragland (1969), Wayne Bright (1970), and Terry Perdew (1974) won NCAA Division II National Championships in their respective weight classes and are all inductees in the ODU Sports Hall of Fame.

In addition, five of Robinson's wrestlers were NCAA Eastern Regional Champions and ten were Virginia Intercollegiate State Champions. In 1981-82, ODU won the NCAA East Regional championship, and four wrestlers advanced to the NCAA National Championships in Ames, Iowa.

Recognized and respected nationally for his coaching, Robinson served as a member of the National Rules Committee of the NCAA and as director for several post-season tournaments.

Robinson also coached golf at ODU for 13 years. His most outstanding golfer was J.P. Leigh who earned College Division All-American honors in 1969 and was inducted into the ODU Sports Hall of Fame in 1984.

Robinson served as an instructor in the ODU health and physical education department from 1957-83. He was inducted into the ODU Sports Hall of Fame in 1985.

He is survived by his loving wife of 47 years, Wilma Salmon Robinson, his daughters Evelyn Robinson, of Norfolk, and Ann Robinson Perez and her husband Alan of Atlanta, GA., his son Bill and wife Carol of Virginia Beach, his sister, Virginia Robinson Navey of Charlotte, NC. Pete and Wilma have four grandchildren.

Robinson was born in Greenwood, MS. He graduated from Springfield College in Massachusetts and earned a Master's degree in education from the College of William and Mary. He is a Navy veteran of World War II (Pacific theatre).

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 30 in Larchmont Baptist Church. Interment will be in Forest Lawn Cemetery. The family will receive friends at the H.D. Oliver Funreral Apartments, Norfolk Chapel, Monday from 7-8 p.m.

Memorial Donations may be made to the Palmer Home, BOx 746, Columbus, Miss 39703; ODU Wrestling; Larchmont Baptist Church or the charity of the donors choice.