Coach and player come full circle

Marcus Ingram played under Alvin Robinson and now Robinson is his assistant coach.

Coach and player come full circle
July 21
13:37 2022

Marcus Ingram is the head basketball coach for the Forsyth Country Day School boys sixth grade basketball team. When he was a youth, he played AAU basketball under Alvin Robinson, who taught him a lot about the game of basketball. Many years later, Robinson is now the assistant coach for Ingram.

Ingram is entering his second season as the Furies coach and led them to a 9-1 record last year. When thinking of assistants for his staff, Ingram quickly thought of Robinson because he remembers the lessons Robinson taught him as a youth and figured his players could benefit from those lessons as well.

“When I first started playing basketball, I was probably 12, so I was way behind the eight ball, but he [Robinson] believed in me,” said Ingram. “The head coach was Charette Guthrie and they both took me under their wing and they always told me I could do it. I used to be down on myself and he always was behind me.  

“Even when I got to high school and college, he was like, ‘you got it, you got the special talent.’ I never believed in myself until I started seeing it when it came to fruition.”

One of the major reasons for Ingram bringing Robinson onto his staff was to impart his years of coaching wisdom on the players.  

“To keep me grounded in knowing what he did and learning all the steps that he took because he has been doing this for 30 plus years,” said Ingram about Robinson.  

“He taught me to always respect everybody, always show love, always be professional in everything that you do. That’s what we are trying to teach the kids, respect each other and human decency. It doesn’t matter if your mother has a Lamborghini or your mom has a Honda, all of us are the same and we all have the same goal.”

Before coaching with the Furies, Ingram was on Josh Howard’s staff at Piedmont International University, now Carolina University. He says coaching on the collegiate level is similar to coaching at FCD because of the atmosphere of the school.  

Robinson remembers his time coaching Ingram very fondly. After coaching for three decades, when he was approached with this opportunity, Robinson jumped at the idea to be on Ingram’s staff.

“Put it like this, I wouldn’t want to be under anyone I coached and be their assistant other than Coach Ingram because I remember he played hard and would give the kids all he has,” said Robinson. 

Robinson stated that he never thought he would be coaching as an assistant under any of his former players. He says it’s a very unique situation that he is proud to be a part of and is thankful for the opportunity from FCD.

“I love it! Coach Doug [Esleeck] and Kevin [Westwood] gave me a chance. They heard I was a coach, they asked me did I want to coach, and I take my hat off to Forsyth Country Day because nobody could see what I could do in the city,” Robinson said.

Having the opportunity to coach and give some of his wisdom to kids was paramount for Robinson. Being at Forsyth Country Day School gives him the chance to coach a different crop of kids.

“My wife always said that I love all kids,” Robinson continued. “I am not a perfect X and O man, but I love all kids, so she said you’ve always brought the best out of kids. Working in this environment is the ideal environment because it’s diversified enough that I could be around all kids and reach out to them.”

Robinson says he enjoys seeing the progress of the young players. His goal is to assist the young players in their development as they get ready for the next level.

Robinson also enjoys watching one of his former players develop into a quality coach. He says it feels good to see that years later, his players have retained the lessons he taught them years ago.

“It’s like a good father and the son is ready to follow in the father’s footsteps and all the father can say is ‘job well done son,’” Robinson continued. “I have been following Marcus from over there with Josh at PIU.  

“I made the call when they were asking who was best for the job here and I said Marcus. That was the first person that came to my mind was Marcus. He always respected me. He called me coach, but he looked at me differently, more like a respectful figure in the community.”

Robinson feels he can coach for another 10 or 20 years as an assistant. He doesn’t have any aspirations of becoming a head coach because he feels he fills the assistant coach role perfectly. He says there are life lessons he can give to the players that go beyond the court.

“I want them to always believe in themselves and to play hard,” Robinson said. “If you are up by 20, play hard. If you are down by 20, play hard. Always give it all you can on the court, because you never know who’s watching you.”

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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