EDITOR’S NOTE: Opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of The Daily Independent. This piece originally appeared in The State Journal (Frankfort).
We’ve always known what University of Kentucky junior wide receiver Wan’Dale Robinson is capable of on the gridiron. Now we know a little bit more about his character off the field.
The Wildcats’ leading receiver nominated his former Western Hills High School principal Greg Roush for the Extra Yard of Teachers program sponsored by the SEC. Roush, who retired in June after a 28-year career in education — including six years at the helm at Hills, was honored with the award last week on the SEC Network.
In a video the SEC posted on Twitter, Robinson said Roush was a fatherly figure, who made a positive impact on his life.
“Growing up without a father, and sometimes you just have somebody to talk to and things like that. I just really appreciate everything he’s done for me,” the 2018 Kentucky Mr. Football explained.
“Luckily I was able to be around his family and his son while we were in high school together, so I got to know him outside of school as well and he’s a really, really great person in school and outside of school, too.”
As part of the award, Western Hills will receive $5,000.
Robinson is having a stellar season in his first year at UK. Through seven games, he has hauled in 49 catches for 566 yards and five touchdowns.
The receiver, who has signed a few NIL (name, image and likeness) deals, is also donating a portion of those proceeds to the Wanda Joyce Robinson Foundation. The organization, which is named in honor of his grandmother, serves children — like Wan’Dale — who are impacted by incarceration.
Robinson is making a difference by using his platform to lift and build up others and that speaks volumes about the man under the helmet, uniform and pads.
“It’s a nice thing to do,” Roush, who now works as the deputy executive director of the Kentucky Retired Teachers Association, said of the recognition. “It says a lot more about Wan’Dale’s character than mine that he would think to recognize one of his educators from when he was growing up in school.”
We couldn’t have said it better.
Thank you, Wan’Dale for continuing to inspire others.