Local coach gives back to young athletes

WATCH: Local coach gives back to young athletes

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — For Gene Robinson leadership started at an early age.

That’s because he was raised by teachers that instilled the value of learning while young.

“Seeing young people fight the odds and work to beat the odds, that’s what keeps me going,” Fairley Football Coach Gene Robinson explained.

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When you think about the athletes that have come out of the Whitehaven community it’s no surprise that Gene Robinson will come to mind.

Straight out of Whitehaven High School in 2009 to a full scholarship at UNC, Robinson says he never imaged what was ahead.

“Going into high school I didn’t dream at all that I’d be playing D1 football .. I didn’t even know D1 colleges came to Memphis”, Robinson explained.

Robinson whose now the head coach at Fairley says he grew amazed at the opportunity that came from football.

He’s now showing athletes through an annual event “Make the Right Call” just how far talent can take them.

“It may not be the NFL, but I think anyone coming out of poverty to go to college for free. I mean just the grit and grind that Memphis teaches us is a great opportunity for our young men”, Robinson said.

A camp that started out with nearly 200 kids in 2013 is now twice as big.

Coach Robinson told FOX13 it’s all about mentoring young athletes to get them to school.

“Coming from an area of poverty like we are in most young people have never really accomplished a major goal in their life”, Robinson explained.

But there’s a bigger connection with Coach Robinson and his team at Fairley High School.

Robinson told FOX13, “One of my biggest assets being here is my age, Its things as simple as using rap lyrics just as a tool of motivation to get them going.”

Despite the lack of resources Robinson says his goal still remains.

“My ultimate goal this year is to definitely win a state championship and to sign 7 players into college”, Robinson explained.

Which comes down to fighting the obstacles that may come their way all for the great good.

“You see goals you knock them down and ultimately that will create young leaders”, Robinson said.

Robinson says he hopes to inspire the next leaders of our generation, “I just want to play my part in helping young men become young leaders of tomorrow.”

The event is free and offers ACT Prep courses for the top ten performers.