|Title:||Class of 2014|
|Organization:||Football and Track and Field|
A two-sport athlete at WPI from 1976 to 1980, Mike “Smokey” Robinson was a record-setting running back in football and a star sprinter on the track.
The New London, Conn., product showed promise as he emerged as one of the Engineers leading rushers in his injury-shortened freshman season. His initial season was highlighted by a late fourth quarter touchdown to lift the Engineers to a 20–17 come-from-behind victory over the Coast Guard.
“Mike was a running back when we were just starting the process of building a winning football program at WPI,” said former head coach Bob Weiss. “Had he come along a few years later, his exploits on the field would probably have doubled! Mike is a fine person, well-liked by me and his teammates, and very well thought of in the New London area.”
As a sophomore, Robinson emerged as the team’s leading rusher and scored all six Engineers rushing touchdowns. As a junior, he scored five rushing touchdowns, set a then WPI single-game rushing record with a 228-yard performance against Hamilton, and finished the season as the nation’s 18th leading rusher in Division III with a 100 yards-per-game average.
Robinson capped his WPI football career by leading the Engineers in rushing for the third consecutive year, scoring three rushing touchdowns.
On the track, Robinson was a sprinter for the indoor and outdoor track and field teams. He ran the leadoff leg on the Engineers’ very successful 4x100 relay team all four seasons.
“Mike and I became instant friends our freshman football season,” recalled Hall of Fame teammate Jeff Rosen. “It became obvious very quickly to me that Mike was the most naturally talented and physically strong athlete I had ever met. In track and field, I stayed close to him in the 100 meters for two years until he shot past me in the finals of one race and glanced over and gave me a little smile. The smile was his way of letting me know he had been just messing with me the last two years.”
Robinson was a member of Phi Kappa Theta fraternity, and graduated from WPI in 1980 with a degree in mechanical engineering. Following graduation, he had a successful 22-year career with Motorola, becoming a corporate vice president and general manager of an $850 million business unit. He is currently chief operating officer of Sienna Corporation, a privately held electronics design and manufacturing company based in Atlanta.
Mike and Rosie, his wife of 32 years, live in Roswell, Georgia. They have three children—Monique, Michael, and Andre—and four grandchildren.
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