Interim Athletics Director Named; Peterson Announces Retirement

PINE BLUFF, Ark. – Effective Monday, Feb. 15, Vice Chancellor and Athletics Director Chris Peterson will retire from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB). Executive Senior Associate Athletics Director Chris Robinson will become Interim AD effective Tuesday, February 16. A search will be conducted for AD Peterson’s successor.

Peterson, who was hired after a long career in senior athletics administration, started in January 2020, just as the coronavirus was taking hold across the nation. Weeks later the SWAC and the entire NCAA ceased all sports for the Spring 2020 semester.

“Please join me in thanking AD Peterson for his service to the university,” Chancellor Laurence B. Alexander said. “I’ve expressed my gratitude to him for his leadership of athletics during the past year. He started just as we all were learning about the coronavirus pandemic, but he worked diligently to advance the department and to support the health and well-being of our student athletes during one of our most difficult periods in history. The Golden Lion Nation is strong, and I appreciate the continued support of our students, employees, alumni, and friends as we strive to reach our ultimate goal of achieving student success in both athletics and scholarship.”

“It has been my privilege to serve as Vice Chancellor/ Director of Athletics,” said Peterson.

“I would like to sincerely thank [UA System Board] Trustee Broughton, [UA System] President Bobbitt, and Chancellor Alexander for the opportunity this past year to be part of the Golden Lions family. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, the opportunity for me to interact with the coaches and the student athletes in the manner I have been accustomed to has had its limitations, which has been disappointing personally. During my career in college athletics and the moves that come with the profession there are ‘friends of the road’ and ‘friends of the heart’ that you acquire over the years. I am happy to say there are some true ‘friends of the heart’ at UAPB and in the city of Pine Bluff.”

Interim AD Robinson’s wealth of administrative knowledge of the university and alumni fan base spans over two decades as a former coach and student-athlete. Prior to moving to athletics administration in January 2020, Robinson served one year as Interim Director and six years as Director of the Office of Recruitment.

As an athlete, he played for the legendary Archie “The Gunslinger” Cooley before transferring to Southern University where he played quarterback for one season. As the UAPB football program returned to play in 1993, he led the Golden Lions to the 1994 NAIA National Championship Game, highlighted by a seven-touchdown (six passing / one rushing) performance in a come-from-behind overtime semifinal win under Coach Lee Hardman. Before returning to UAPB as an assistant coach, Robinson coached quarterbacks and running backs at Mid-American Nazarene University while also serving as assistant softball coach and Director of Minority Affairs.

A 2014 UAPB Sports Hall of Fame inductee, he earned his bachelor’s degree in management from UAPB, and a master’s degree in business administration from Mid-America Nazarene University.

Robinson married two-time All American 4×4 relay runner and Golden Lion alum Kim “George” Robinson, and the couple has three children: Christopher, a graduate wide receiver at UAPB; Kylan, a junior transfer wide receiver; and a daughter, Kaylen.