Veteran coach has his Gators in the post-season mix once again
Perry Hall head football coach Keith Robinson is a humble man.
In accepting congratulations on his 100th career win, which came with a 55-12 victory over Dulaney on Friday, or on his recognition as the Baltimore Touchdown Club Coach of Week for Week 8 of the 2015 season, Robinson is quick to include the players and coaches who have helped him achieve success, first at Overlea High School and, for the last eight years, with the Gators.
“While I am very proud to reach this milestone, what it really means is that I have been fortunate over the past 14 seasons to have quality athletes play for me and a number of very dedicated assistant coaches by my side helping me,” said Robinson. “I share this recognition with all of them.”
This approach is not surprising when you know the coach whom Robinson credits with molding him in the profession.
“Whenever I am asked about people who have been influential in shaping my career as a coach, I have to begin with Roger Wrenn, whom I coached under at the start of my career (1996-2001) at Patterson High School,” explained Robinson.
Wrenn is a coaching icon in Baltimore, having lead the Patterson program for 32 years and then concluding his career with a six-year stint at Poly. At one time, 11 head coaches in the Baltimore area were former players of Wrenn and several his assistants, including Robinson, Eastern Tech’s Chuck Mesaros and Howard’s Bruce Strunk have gone on to be successful high school football head coaches in the area.
“It wasn't just the X's and O's that I learned from coach Wrenn. He did a tremendous job of teaching many of us how to build and run a program from A to Z,” said Robinson. “He instilled in us a work ethic and gave us a map of how to organize a program both in-season and during the off-season. I often find myself thinking, ‘What would Roger do?’ when faced with a tough decision regarding our football program.”
In addition to winning football games, and developing athletes to reach their potential, Robinson is also influencing a new generation of young coaches and credits them for much of his ongoing success.
“Any coach who has experienced success and longevity will tell you that he hasn't done it alone and I am no different. While I've had several top notch assistants during my head coaching tenure at both Overlea and Perry Hall, I have to formally thank and recognize my current assistants, some of whom have been with me since I arrived at Perry Hall eight years ago,” Robinson stated. “Dan Probst and Nate Bickerstaff have been with me from the start and their commitment and professionalism adds stability to our program which cannot be over-stated. Dustin Renner, Rob Mullin, Joe Sorice, Maurice Cook, Chris Brotzman, Logan Belinda round out our staff and I look forward to working with them for many years to come.”
Robinson and his staff have the Gators off to a 6-1 start and ranked No. 10 in the current VSN Football Top 20 poll, yet they face an uncertain fait in their quest to return to the 4A playoffs.
“In the current playoff landscape we are on the outside looking in, believe it or not, at 6-1. The 4A North division is shaping up to be one of the tougher regions in the state this year with teams from five different jurisdictions. Even a 9-1 finish does not guarantee us a trip to the post-season.”
The Gators host a struggling Milford Mill program this Friday and will be heavily favored in their final regular season game, on Nov. 6 against Towson. The biggest challenge will fall in between those contests when Perry Hall travels to undefeated Dundalk. According to Robinson, his squad will do their best to win all three and then let the chips fall where they may.
“All we can do is take care of our part and try to win our last three games and see what happens. I think we can make some noise this year if we do get in with the weapons we have on offense this year.”
As far as being named Coach of the Week, Robinson considers it a special honor.
“Winning the BTC coach of the week award is very humbling to me and to Perry Hall football, especially when I look over the list of previous winners this year, many of whom are personal friends of mine.”
In addition, he is proud of his role in helping more Baltimore County schools get involved with the Baltimore Touchdown Club.
“When I first came to Perry Hall in 2008, myself and some of my coaching peers approached the BTC about opening their membership to some Baltimore County schools and it has been one of our greatest accomplishments as coaches,” said Robinson. “Not only does the BTC promote high school football in Maryland, through the hard work of its members and coaches, but I have gained numerous friends due to the camaraderie that the organization promotes. I look forward to a long lasting relationship both personally and for Perry Hall football.”