Years before he became known as a track guy, Robin Gaines was a football guy. When he got to the ninth grade at Grissom High School in 1972, I had the privilege of playing on Grissoms freshman football team that went undefeated, untied and unscored-on, coached by Ronnie Stapler, Gaines said. It was his first team as a coach, and one day he told us we were not only going to win the city championship, but we werent going to let anybody score on us either. We actually believed it and then went out and did it. Ive often heard us referred to as That Team, and I used that story many times later on to challenge the teams I coached, wherever they were. Gaines turned into a standout offensive lineman on the Grissom varsity and was named to the All-City team in 1975. After high school, he pursued the dual dream of attending Auburn while working in the universitys athletic training room. His goal was to become an athletic trainer. His senior year, Auburn track coach Mel Rosen asked Gaines to travel with the track team to a meet at LSU. Thats when I really became a track guy, said Gaines. On any given weekend, Id be at a meet where most of the U.S. Olympic Team athletes were competing for their respective schools. I learned quite a bit of track technique just by osmosis. Gaines put that knowledge to good use as a trainer, strength and conditioning coach, assistant football coach and/or track and field coach at diverse jobs in various places. But it was after he returned to Madison County, first in 2000-2002 at Gurley and then from 2002-2012 at Bob Jones, that he achieved the greater part of his Hall of Fame credentials. His boys and girls track teams dominated area competition at Madison County High, and so did his boys and girls teams in track and cross country at Bob Jones over the next decade. In all, he won four county titles, 31 metro titles, 34 sectional titles, seven state runner-up titles, and coached 88 All-Staters and 26 state champions. He and his wife, Phillis, mutually decided that Robin should retire. I realized 32 years of grinding was enough, Gaines said. We didnt want to miss our grandchildrens childhoods. Gaines said everything started with his parents. They supported everything my brother and I did from the time we were able to walk until they literally couldnt go any more, he said. His wife, and their children daughters Courtney and Casey and son Luke are also at the top. My wife is the quintessential coachs wife, he said. Her unselfish sacrifices have allowed me to follow a dream. Right behind are our three children. Next would be my mentors coach Sam Sullins, whose philosophies and techniques Ive used my entire career, and coach Ronnie Stapler, who taught me to swim when I was four, who I played for in high school at Grissom, who has been a reference and confidant throughout my professional career, and who to this day is still a close family friend. And my uncle, coach Bill Hawkins, who always had time for his nephew and always let him rummage through every field house and gymnasium wherever he was coaching. Last would be my best friends, Ronnie Jackson and Rick Haase, who always had great ideas for not only coaching my teams, but also for running the program and were always there when the times were the toughest.