His alma mater’s big game is one of college basketball’s fiercest rivalries. Now his new school’s big game is one of college basketball’s quirkiest traditions.
John Brown’s new sports information director, Nicholas Robinson, graduated from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich., whose rivalry with nearby Hope College is arguably the fiercest small college rivalry in the nation.
According to Robinson, Calvin College “could sell out a chess match” against Hope College.
As sports information director, he hopes to bring that kind of excitement and attendance to John Brown Athletics.
Robinson was previously the assistant sports information director at Graceland University in Iowa, where he “fell in love with sports information.”
Now it is his responsibility to promote John Brown’s athletes.
Robinson believes the quality of Golden Eagles athletics speaks for itself.
“We’ve got a lot of awesome kids here and they put their guts, their sweat, [and] their tears out on the court or the field every time they play,” said Robinson. “It is my job to make sure that everybody that is within my power to reach hears what an awesome story [the athletes] bring to the table.”
Robyn Daugherty, director of athletics, said one reason Robinson, a first-time sports information head director, was chosen was because he fit with the goals of the athletic program.
Daugherty said Robinson is someone who is “going to fit within our culture and within our institution and is going to take us to the next level.”
Along with adding Robinson’s expertise in social media, the athletic department feels he has the ability to help them to “continue to raise the bar” in other areas as well.
“Raising the bar,” according to Daugherty, means an increased presence in social media for the athletic department and an increase in quality in all media productions.
When they hired Robinson, the athletic department “found someone who had the skills to take us to the next level, whether that’s on social media or on the web,” said Daugherty. “He has great photography skills, he has great writing skill, he has great design skills, and he knows the web [and] social media.”
Besides an increased presence in social media, Daugherty wants increased visibility for the athletic program.
“It is my job to make sure that when our teams do well and do the right things as many people know about it through as many vehicles as necessary,” said Robinson.
What attracted Robinson to John Brown was the Christian culture that is not only foundational to the school but also permeates the way students interact with faculty and staff.
“Kids love the school, they love to play the sports that God has given them the talents for and they love to be in a place where there are like-minded people,” said Robinson. “Everybody can talk about, live, experience and engage Christ [at JBU]. That is important to me. If a student athlete comes in and [has] a problem and wants to talk about it we can have a serious heart-to-heart and talk about our Christian beliefs.”
Along with the new forms of communication and higher quality level production that Robinson will be implementing, the personal aspect of his job will make adaptability paramount.
“This job is so ever-evolving that it comes down to if you can keep up with it,” said Robinson. “I like to think I have the mental fortitude to do that.”
He won’t let the job knock him down, so to speak. “As a former hockey player in college, I never let anyone push me around, said Robinson, “I may only be 5’ 9”, but I would skate between their legs if I had to.”