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Success beyond the gridiron

Photo of Frank Robinson posing with family
From left to right: Breelyn, Ava, Frank, Fanya, Kayla and Dallis Robinson

Frank Robinson (BA, human resource management, 1991) was a walk-on for the Boise State Broncos football team in 1987 and became a starter at cornerback. He later donned the jerseys of the NFL’s Cincinnati Bengals and Denver Broncos. He then built a career in the corporate world, notably at Amazon. Today, Robinson is at JP Morgan Chase, where he helps entrepreneurs of color strategize for success. Robinson said that his time at his alma mater taught him how to score “touchdowns” on any field of competition.

“One of the things that I learned from Boise State is that it doesn’t matter where you come from,” he said. “As long as you work hard, and you network, you can be successful.”

While at Boise State, Robinson said he learned business acumen, how to build relationships and the value of hard work. Not only did he contribute to the Broncos’ football team for four years, he showcased his athletic prowess on the basketball court under the legendary Coach Bobby Dye. He was inducted into the Boise State Athletics Hall of Fame in 1999.

“Frank is the true definition of what it is to be a Bronco,” said Max Corbet, former associate athletic director for media relations at Boise State. “He walked on as a freshman and through hard work and dedication became a first-team All-American and team leader. When the time came that the Boise State basketball team needed players, Frank was there. This is the type of person Frank was, and is today. One of my all-time favorite Broncos.”

After college, Robinson played cornerback for the Cincinnati Bengals (1992) and the Denver Broncos (1992 to 1994). In 1995, while in spring training for the newly formed Jacksonville Jaguars, injury cut his NFL career short. He played briefly for NFL Europe World League Champions Scottish Claymores. At the age of 28, he began looking for a new professional path.

“I tried a lot of different things when I decided that I wasn’t going to play football anymore,” Robinson said. “I sold cars, I sold insurance. And the banking industry is the one industry that I tried that stuck. I started out at U.S. Bank as a personal banker and worked myself up to a branch manager.”

Robinson’s journey has been an inspiring one of successful career transitions, personal growth adaptability and the enduring value of hard work.

“My journey has led me all the way to this, to where I’m at now, which I think is exactly where I’m supposed to be,” Robinson said. “You don’t necessarily have to be a CEO of a Fortune 500 company to be successful. One of the quotes I use in my work is from Coach Monty Williams [of the Detroit Pistons], and it’s that ‘everything you want is on the other side of hard.’”

Frank and Fanya (Bryant) Robinson (BS, health sciences, 1998) are the parents of four daughters.

“I am happy and super proud of what they’re all doing,” Robinson said. “They’re all student-athletes, too, and I don’t think I could be any happier with their progress. I count that as a success.”

By Andrew Gauss