University of Louisville women’s basketball head coach Jeff Walz announced on Thursday that he has added Shay Robinson, the former associate head coach at Ole Miss, as an associate coach.
Robinson wrapped up his second season at Ole Miss under head coach Yolett McPhee-McCuin in 2021-22, and his first as the associate head coach. He has also spent time as an assistant coach at Maryland and Kansas.
During his coaching tenure, he has helped lead his teams to six NCAA Tournaments, including two trips to the Sweet 16 and a trip to the 2015 Final Four, five regular season conference championships and four conference tournament championships. He mentored four WNBA Draft picks, including two top 10 picks, and has had success on the recruiting trail, helping bring in top five recruiting classes in 2016, 2017 and 2019.
“Shay comes to us highly recommended, with an extensive, versatile, background. Everywhere he’s been, he’s been successful. Most importantly, he cares about the growth and development of our players on and off the court,” said Walz. “Shay is an Air Force veteran, a skilled player development coach, and a proven recruiter. He is a great complement to our staff and we are excited to welcome him to the ‘Ville.”
In his two seasons at Ole Miss, Robinson helped lead the Rebels to the WNIT Championship game in 2020-21 and a 23-9 record and the program’s first NCAA Tournament appearance in 15 seasons in 2021-22.
Robinson’s most notable pupil in his two seasons at Ole Miss was Honorable Mention All-American and First-Team All-SEC member Shakira Austin, who was selected third overall by the Washington Mystics in the 2022 WNBA draft. Austin played her first two seasons at Maryland, where Robinson was previously an assistant coach.
Prior to Ole Miss, Robinson was an assistant coach at Maryland. In his six seasons in College Park (2014-15 to 2019-20), Robinson helped lead the Terrapins to consistent success both in the Big Ten and on the national scene.
In his tenure, Maryland went 179-27 (.869) overall, 92-12 (.885) in Big Ten play, recorded three 30-win seasons, won five Big Ten regular season titles and four conference tournament titles. The Terrapins were equally successful in the postseason, earning five NCAA Tournament berths that yielded two Sweet 16 appearances and a trip to the 2015 Final Four.
In Robinson’s first season at Maryland in 2014-15, the Terrapins earned a record of 34-3 on the season and went a perfect 18-0 in Big Ten play – just the second time in history a team went 18-0 in conference games. The Terps capped the regular season off with their first Big Ten Tournament championship and won a program-record 24 straight games. Maryland earned a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament and beat Duke, then No. 2-seeded Tennessee to advance to its second consecutive Final Four.
The Terps continued their Big Ten dominance in 2015-16, winning 31 games and sweeping the Big Ten regular season and tournament titles. That year the Terrapins led the country – men’s and women’s teams – with their rebounding margin of +15.1 boards per game.
Maryland won 30 games for the third straight season in 2016-17 and also won its third straight Big Ten regular season and tournament titles. After a Sweet Sixteen appearance, seniors Shatori Walker-Kimbrough and Brionna Jones were drafted sixth and eighth overall in the 2017 WNBA Draft.
In 2018-19, the Terrapins went 29-5, winning 12 straight games to start the year – Including a dominant 85-61 win at No. 10 South Carolina in November. The Terps won 11 of 12 games to end the regular season and win their fourth Big Ten regular season title in five years.
In 2019-20, the Terrapins earned a record of 28-4, winning 17 straight games to end the regular season and the Big Ten Tournament title. They clinched a share of their fifth Big Ten championship in six years with a record of 16-2 in conference play. A program-record six Terrapins earned All-Big Ten honors. The Terps finished the season ranked No. 4 in the Associated Press and RPI rankings, and were projected to be a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament that was ultimately cancelled due to the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
On the recruiting end, Robinson helped the Terps sign the No. 1 recruiting class in 2016, the No. 4 class in 2017 and the No. 3 class in 2019.
Four Terrapins were drafted into the WNBA in Robinson’s six years, including Laurin Mincy (27th overall, 2015), Brene Moseley (21st overall, 2016), Shatori Walker-Kimbrough (sixth overall, 2017) and Brionna Jones (eighth overall, 2017).
Robinson came to College Park from Kansas, where he spent the 2013-14 season. Prior to his time in Lawrence, Robinson worked at Air Force and worked as the head instructor at one of the most elite basketball performance centers in the country, the EDGE Training Facility in Orlando.
Robinson served for five years as the assistant director and head instructor at the EDGE Training Facility, known as the premier training facility in the state of Florida. Robinson helped manage daily basketball operations while performing individual and team skill development sessions, camps and clinics. His vast clientele ranged from beginning players to elite high school, college and professional athletes in the NBA and European Leagues.
Robinson worked the coaching ranks for many years. He coached the girls’ basketball team at Viera High School during the 2010-11 season, helping the squad win its first district championship while posting a 22-3 overall record. Robinson also served as an assistant coach with the boys’ varsity program at Viera from 2006-09.
During the 2009-10 season, Robinson served as an assistant men’s basketball coach at Brevard Community College. There, he was in charge of guard and post player development, while assisting with offensive and defensive philosophies. Other responsibilities included recruiting, team film sessions, scouting, academic monitoring and mentorship of student athletes.
Robinson graduated from James B. Dudley High School before enlisting in the Air Force in 1996. Robinson served more than eight years on active duty in the Air Force. While enlisted, he deployed on numerous tours of duty, including three tours in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, spending time as a Weapons Load Crew member on F-16s, as well as Special Operations Senior Command Post Controller.
During his military career, Robinson received various medals and was awarded the distinguished John Levitow Award in 2002. He was also named Air Force Special Operations Command, Command Post Controller of the Year in 2002-03, before his honorable discharge in 2004.
In August 2007, Robinson earned a bachelor of science in sports and fitness with a specialization in coaching theory from the University of Central Florida. He also holds a master of science in athletic administration from Nova Southeastern University in 2010. Robinson is an active member of the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA), National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) and the Black Coaches & Administrators (BCA) organization.
A native of Greensboro, N.C., Robinson is married to his wife, Tonya.
Photo Courtesy Louisville Athletics
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