Ever since he was a little boy, 39-year-old Ted Robinson has been a loving and powerful presence for Country Day's student-athletes, coaches, and athletics personnel.
The son of the late Win Robinson, a longtime Spanish teacher and coach, "Teddy" has Down Syndrome and limited ability to communicate with words. Yet there is no doubt about the message he sends with his big smile, enthusiastic high fives, hugs, and cheers as an honorary member of the football, basketball, and baseball programs. Additionally, for the past 18 years, Ted has come to campus every day during the season to assist the athletic trainers in filling the water and injury ice coolers for athletic practices and games. And he sets up the field for all football games.
We asked a few people who know Ted best to share their reflections on his impact.
Drew Witman '06Football Program Head and Director of Alumni Relations
“For three decades I have known my guy “Teddy,” interacting with him in different capacities–as a young student turned student-athlete, then his buddy while he worked during the summer at Country Day, and now as a head coach. The positive impact Ted has had on me and the rest of our school community, has been loving, powerful, and consistent. Guided by his wonderful parents, Toni and the late Win Robinson, Ted has served our community unlike anyone else in my time at Country Day. He is known as Country Day’s super fan, but to me, he is more than a fan. He is a joyful and calming influence, always there to be that shot of perspective on what really matters. Ted doesn’t care what the score is. He cares about being around Country Day and the people…his people. Ted is more than a fan; he is a friend and an inspiration.”
Stephanie MillerAthletic Trainer
“His smiles, hugs, and dances brighten my every day. He is the biggest community builder at this school. He makes friends with all the athletes and coaches (both from Country Day and the visiting teams). He joins the team at the end of each contest he attends to shake the hands of the opponents and is always sure to get a hug from the opposing coach. Many opposing coaches look forward to their games here because they know they will get a hug from Ted.”
Mike DouhgertyFormer coach and Upper School Spanish Teacher
“I have so many fond memories of hanging out with TRob! His time in the locker room and on the bus as an official manager for our basketball and baseball teams. Jamming out in my car with invisible instruments (Ted can play the guitar, the drums, and the piano in one song!). His great impersonations of both Coach Witmans as he runs onto the football field before kickoff! His charming ways to get you to bring him a hotdog and a Sprite at halftime! The kindness with which he treats all living creatures! His authentic and infectious smile! His never-ending supply of Country Day T-shirts and hats! His ability to replay all the gimmicks of The Three Stooges! Ted is an example to us all about enjoying life in the moment! ”
Tim WaplesFormer coach and Upper School English Teacher
“Ted is spicy shrimp Brixx pizza and all the Sprite he can drink (no ice). Ted is jogging out onto the field with Bob Witman in matching shirts and gaits. Ted is Steph’s shadow and helper. Ted is the inimitable Ted Shimmy, and running back the Stooges with Mike Dougherty, both wise guys. Ted is “Who’s the coach?” Ted is Win and Toni. Ted is routine, Ted is surprise, Ted is a knowing smile full of love and mischief. When Ted gets to heaven, all will gather around to hear his explanation of what loyalty is.”