Robbins takes charge

Northeast hires Corinth coach to take over men's basketball team.

BY MARK BEASON
Daily Journal

BOONEVILLE – When Northeast Mississippi Community College was looking for a new men's basketball coach, it looked to one of Northeast Mississippi's best high school coaches.

Northeast announced Monday David Robbins has taken over as head coach of the men's basketball program. Robbins, who previously coached Corinth, is taking over for Billy Jefcoat, who stepped down earlier this year after just one season.

Robbins isn't a stranger on campus, playing for the Tigers from 1983-85. He also got his coaching career started as an assistant (1987-89) under Ricky Ford and Harvey Childers.

“I'm really looking forward to the challenge. Northeast has always meant a lot to me and my family,” Robbins said. “We want to come in here and do the right things and do it the right way. I'm excited to be coming back to the Northest family.”

Robbins brings with him an impressive resume in the high school ranks. During his 15-year tenure at Corinth, he led the Warriors to three MHSAA state championships and was the Daily Journal coach of the year in 2002 and 2003. Northeast is hoping Robbins, who had a 283-139 career record at Corinth, brings his winning touch to the JUCO level.

“We are in a rebuilding mode with our men's basketball program,” Northeast president Dr. Johnny Allen said. “We have a strong tradition with our basketball program and it deserves to be rebuilt.”

Moving up to the next level, Robbins faces different challenges than he saw at the high school level. Following Monday's press conference, Robbins was hitting the road to start recruiting. He says finding the right players to fit the system is essential.

“I know recruiting will be a learning process and a challenge, but one I'm looking forward to,” Robbins said. “In high school, you have to play with the hand you're delt. At this level, you get to find the right people to fit the system.”

Northeast women's coach Ricky Ford has seen Robbins grow as a coach. He was on Ford's staff prior to taking over at Corinth and thinks Robbins is a good fit for the Tiger program.

“What makes David successful is his love and passion for the game,” Ford said. “Plus, he really cares about his players and works hard to see them succeed on and off the court. You put those two things together and you come up with a pretty good basketball coach.”

Robbins is taking over a program that has had success in the past, but has struggled in recent years. At Corinth, the Warriors won with an up-tempo style and pressure defense. He wants that style to continue at Northeast and finding the right players is key.

“Coming back to Northeast is really like coming home, and hopefully we can win enough games to stay awhile,” Robbins said. “There is a great basketball tradition here at Northeast, and we hope to build on that and take it to the next level.”