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December 02, 2020
USATF San Diego honors memory of Arnie Robinson
San Diego Olympian, Arnie Robinson, Jr., passed away on Monday, December 1, 2020, at the age of 72
It is with great sadness and deep regret that we announce the passing of one of the greatest long jumpers in history, Arnie Paul Robinson, Jr., on December 1, 2020, at the age of 72. Arnie lived in San Diego throughout his career, attending
Morse High School
San Diego Mesa College
San Diego State University
, where he was the 1970
NCAA Men's Outdoor Track and Field Champion
in the long jump with a mark of 25-10½. The following year he won his first
USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships
title in 26-10
(w), qualifying him for the 1971 Pan American Games, where he won the Gold Medal in 26-3¾. In 1972 he again won the USA Championships, representing the U.S. Army, in 26-5
. That year he also won the
long jump with a mark of 26-4
. He was third in the Munich Olympics in 26-4, behind youngster
who set the
world junior record
in the long jump of 27–4½, a record which stood until 2012. Starting in 1975, Robinson went on to win four straight USA Outdoor Championships. The 1975 championship qualified Robinson to again go to the Pan Am Games, where he won the silver medal in 25-4½. In 1976, he bested Williams in both the Olympic Trials and the Olympics, taking home the gold medal with a career best 27-4¾ jump. In 1977, his National Championship win qualified him to go to the first ever
, Germany, where he again took home gold in 26-10¼. His personal record as a long jumper came at 1976 Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon, with a jump of 27-5¾.
In 1982 he began coaching at San Diego Mesa College and served as a Professor in Health and Exercise Science until his retirement. His 1998 women’s team won the California Community College State Championship. Robinson retired from coaching and teaching in 2010 after 23 years as the Head Track and Field Coach at San Diego Mesa College. On April 13, 2013, San Diego Mesa College honored the Olympian Long Jumper by naming their premier high school and college invitational meet, “The Arnie Robinson Invitational”. Robinson also served as USATF San Diego-Imperial Youth Track and Field Chair for a number of years and mentored thousands of youth athletes over the years.
Arnie Robinson was inducted into the
National Track and Field Hall of Fame
in 2000 and was inducted into the San Diego
Breitbard Hall of Fame
in 1984. He was inducted into the California Community College Track and Field/Cross Country Hall of Fame in 2005 and the CCCAA Hall of Fame in 2007.
Arnie Robinson is a true legend who will be remembered for always placing his student athletes first and being a wonderful ambassador for the sport of track and field.
The photo above shows Arnie's Gold Medal long jump at the 1976 Montreal Olympics.
For more information and photos, please see
Arnie's Memorial Booklet