The Peekskill girls basketball team has had little trouble with consistency on the court in recent years, winning three Section 1 championships over a four-year span from 2011-14. The Lady Red Devils have not been as lucky on the sidelines, with their fourth head coach in as many years to be introduced this season.
James Robinson Jr. was approved by the Peekskill Board of Education on Sept. 6, according to Peekskill superintendent Dr. David Fine, and is already coaching the Lady Red Devils in their Fall League games at Jefferson Valley Fit Club.
“He’s focused on building a successful, positive program from the ground, up,” Dr. Fine said of Robinson, who helped lead the Peekskill boys basketball team to a Section 1 title as a player in 1981. “His focus was always about the student-athlete and growing them as individuals.”
Dr. Fine could not confirm how many applicants went out for the position.
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Robinson brings a wealth of success to his alma mater, winning two National Junior College Athletic Association titles at Monroe College — one as an assistant coach (2011) and one as a head coach (2012).
“I think people are excited that we were able to find someone that is a part of the Peekskill community, has a successful track record, and it’s evident that he’s always been focused on the individual and the student-athlete,” Dr. Fine said.
Dr. Fine praised the girls basketball players, past and present, for their success in and out of the classroom despite a revolving door at the head coaching position.
“I think the girls have had a pretty successful run over the last few years, for sure, and there’s a great group of young ladies that have been put on the floor,” Dr. Fine said. “When I define ‘great,’ they’ve been amazing in the classroom and as a team, with all of the changes and adversity they’ve had to go through over the last few years, and they’ve really stuck together.
Peekskill has posted a 52-15 record over the last three years, with two trips to the section final and a championship in 2014.