Noah Fleischman, Sports Editor
For more than a decade, Robby Robinson has been painting the picture of the hardwood at the Siegel Center in the minds of those who tune in every night.
Robinson has sat behind a microphone illustrating Men’s Basketball’s biggest moments for the last 11 years, including the 2011 Final Four run. He said his favorite moment was VCU’s win against Florida State.
“Winning at the very end and getting that bucket by Bradford Burgess and then advancing to the Elite Eight,” Robinson said as he recalled the NCAA tournament run in 2011. “That whole three-week span between going to Dayton and making the Final Four, I think anybody that says that’s not their best memory just collectively, probably wasn’t paying a ton of attention.”
Robinson serves as the play-by-play broadcaster for Ram Radio on Fox Sports 910 and general manager of VCU Sports Properties. He said he’s wanted to work in radio since he was 5 years old.
“I grew up in Atlanta listening to Braves games,” Robinson said. “So I went to college and I worked at a local radio station in Charlottesville, then I got into the sales side of things as well as the broadcasting side of things.”
The University of Virginia graduate broadcasts every Men’s Basketball game on top of his role with VCU Sports Properties. He started working at VCU in 2008 and called the decision “the best timing anybody could have in the history of professional timing ever.”
“[It was] Anthony Grant’s last year, so it was Eric Maynor’s senior year,” Robinson said. “It was my first year doing games [at VCU].”
Robinson manages advertisements at Men’s Basketball games, whether it’s radio broadcast, on-court promotions, signs around the Siegel Center or other forms of digital advertising. His job also includes looking for businesses that want to advertise products or services to VCU fans. Robinson and his team create ways to present the businesses’ message to the fans at home games.
“That’s 95 percent of my job,” Robinson said. “The broadcasting side is phenomenal and I love it, but it’s a small piece of what I do.”
Preparing for a game broadcast and performing his day-to-day duties on the sales side is a balancing act for Robinson.
“In an ideal scenario, I’m doing all of my prep work the night before,” Robinson said. “I try to do that the night before and then the whole day of the game, especially for home games, is getting ready from the sales side of things to make sure clients’ gameday stuff is ready to go.”
Robinson takes about an hour of his time on gameday to set up his equipment and record a pregame interview with Men’s Basketball coach Mike Rhoades. Once he finishes the interview, Robinson flips back into sales mode until performance of the national anthem.
“Sometimes I sit there when I call the game and I can’t believe I’m this close to the action,” Robinson said. “Like I could literally reach out and grab [redshirt-junior guard] Marcus Evans if I wanted to and somebody’s paying me to do this, which kind of blows my mind.”
Robinson played baseball at Virginia for four years, so when the Rams face the Cavaliers he gets to return to his alma mater.
“People always ask me, ‘who you pulling for today?’ and I pull for the Rams,” Robinson said.
I know coach Rhoades, I know the players a lot more than I know the [Virginia] guys. I’ve been at VCU for 11 years. I was only there for four years.”
Robinson said he loves every minute of his job and doesn’t take it for granted.
“I’m still waiting for someone to show up and say, ‘alright, this part of your life is over, we’re going to wake you up from this dream,’” Robinson said. “If you love doing something, figure out a way to do it until you get to the point to where somebody wants to pay you to do it.”
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