In Memoriam: Mike “Robo” Robinson ’80 will always be one of the greats
By Josh Liddick, Lehigh Sports Communications
As a child prodigy on the soccer field, a natural talent in baseball diamonds and a talented musician on top of that, Mike Robinson ’80 will always be considered one of the greats.
Known by everyone as “Robo”, one of the top scorer in the Lehigh men’s soccer program and a member of the Lehigh baseball team passed away on May 27 at the age of 63.
Robinson himself had a tremendous four-year career as a midfielder in the Engineers’ offensive attack under head coach Tom Fleck and Manny Tavormina in the late 1970s. His 41 career goals were an all-time program record until Andrew Mittendorf broke it in 1999 at the end of his career at 43. Robinson is currently in second place with Mark Forrest ’19.
He was a proud product of North Catholic High School in Philadelphia, where he began the sport. Additionally, after his career with Lehigh, Robinson played professionally for the NASL’s Philadelphia Fury, playing between 1980 and 1982.
While at North, Robinson had many teammates and friends who have looked up to him throughout his life. One in particular, Pat Blessington, who later played collegially at St. Joseph’s, had only positive words to say about the man he knew and loved so much.
“The two words that come to mind when you think of Robo are loyalty and inspiration,” said Blessington. “He’s probably the most loyal person I’ve ever come in contact with and was incredibly inspiring. Whenever you had the chance to hang out with Robo, he would make you feel better right away. And as a teammate, he has you made me feel better as a player, he was enormously talented, but also extremely selfless.
“On the field he was the most talented person you ever did in everything he did. The people around him played better than he was on the field, he was that kind of player.”
Current head coach Dean Koski has put a fair share of legendary players through his program over the past 29 years, but he knows those who came before his tenure are the ones who will leave a legacy long in the future, and Robinson it is no exception.
“It’s always sad to hear of an alum’s death, especially at such a young age, and I’m sure this was a very difficult time for Mike’s family as it came so unexpectedly,” said Koski. “Mike’s legacy as an incredible high school, Lehigh, and professional footballer will be remembered, and second place on Lehigh’s career goals is a special honor. But everything I’ve learned about Mike since he died speaks for her.” The impact he has left behind so many people as a husband, son, father, teammate, and friend. I’m sure that’s the legacy that was most important to Mike. “
Robinson, who lived in Lansdale, Pennsylvania, leaves behind his wife Evelyn, mother, and sons Mike and Matthew.