Robinson joins UT Martin Basketball Staff

Photo Courtesy UT Martin Athletics

Montez Robinson, who won Southwestern Athletic Conference Coach of the Year honors in 2016-17, is the newest member of University of Tennessee at Martin men’s basketball coaching staff under head coach Anthony Stewart.
Robinson comes to the Skyhawks as an assistant after a successful five-year stint as head coach at Alcorn State University. Taking over a program that was under NCAA sanctions for low Academic Progress Rate scores, the Fairfield, Ala. native improved the Braves program by nine victories in both overall and conference play in his debut season. Alcorn State finished second in the SWAC standings in 2015-16 after the team he inherited finished ninth during the previous season. Robinson additionally improved the program’s academic standards as his recruiting classes averaged a 2.97 Grade Point Average during his tenure.
All in all, Robinson compiled a .556 winning percentage in league games with the Braves, including back-to-back second-place finishes (13-5 in 2015-16 and 2016-17). His first two seasons marked the first time that Alcorn State dialed up consecutive winning seasons in league play in 15 years. Last season, the Braves were predicted to finish ninth in the SWAC preseason standings but placed fourth with an 11-7 mark. Alcorn State received an invitation to play in the 2020 Postseason Tournament (CIT) and shattered the school record for single-season free throw percentage (.744) and three-point field goals made (268) in the process.
Robinson’s best season occurred in 2016-17, when he guided the Braves to the SWAC Tournament championship game. He became the first Alcorn State representative to win SWAC Coach of the Year accolades since 2002 and was also crowned as the NABC All-District 23 Co-Coach of the Year. The Braves boasted an 11-game winning streak down the stretch, which was the fifth-longest streak in the nation and fourth-longest in school history. Robinson mentored HBCU All-Americans Marquis Vance and Reginal Johnson on their way to All-SWAC honors, marking the first time that Alcorn State garnered a pair of all-conference selections since 1998-99.
Robinson’s impressive turnaround of the Braves program received national attention. He was a two-time finalist for the Ben Jobe National Coach of the Year Award (following the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons) and was also a finalist for the 2016 Joe B. Hall National Coach of the Year Award.
Before his first head coaching gig at Alcorn State, Robinson was an assistant coach at Bethune-Cookman University for four seasons (2011-15) under Gravelle Craig. During Robinson’s time in Daytona Beach, Fla., Robinson helped the Wildcats advance to the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Tournament championship contest in 2012 and quarterfinal appearances on two other occasions. He worked closely with Bethune-Cookman’s post players, including All-MEAC Tournament honoree Anthony Breeze.
Robinson was also a major factor in Kennesaw State University’s transition from Division II to Division I. As an assistant for head coach Tony Ingle from 2005-11, Robinson aided the Owls in becoming one of the fastest-growing Division I men’s basketball programs in the nation. Kennesaw State advanced to the Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament semifinals in their first season of reclassification and won more games than any other NCAA reclassifying institution during a four-year period, eventually ranking in the top-5 in the mid-major polls. As the lead recruiting liaison, Robinson coached one conference Freshman of the Year, five all-conference players and seven players who went on to play professionally.
Robinson began his coaching career at Truett-McConnell College in Cleveland, Ga., where he was associate head coach and recruiting coordinator for three seasons (2002-05) under head coach Allen Sharpe. Robinson was part of yet another impressive turnaround with the Bears, as the program improved from an eight-win season to 24 victories (with just three scholarship student-athletes) during Robinson’s first year. Robinson was part of a TMC squad who set the single-season school record for wins while mentoring eight All-Georgia Athletic Conference honorees and four players who played professionally following graduation.
A proud member of the National Association of Basketball Coaches, Robinson is married to the former Leah Hornbuckle. The couple has two children: a daughter, Tezlyn; and a son, Montez, Jr. After playing two seasons at Kemper Military Junior College in Boonville, Mo., Robinson finished out his playing career as co-captain of the men’s basketball squad at North Georgia College and State University. He graduated in 2002 with a degree in criminal justice and later obtained his Master’s degree in transformative leadership from Bethune-Cookman in 2014.

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