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Robertson, Jay, 1940-



  • Existence: 1940    


Donald A. “Jay” Robertson, Jr. was born on February 20th, 1940, in Chicago, Illinois.  He attended Willard School in Evanston, Illinois, and secondary school at Southwest High School in Kansas City, Missouri. Robertson earned all-city honors in football as a center for Southwest High School.  Robertson’s association with Northwestern University football began early. His father, Donald A. Robertson (class of 1934) had been a student manager of the University’s football teams.  Growing up in Evanston, Jay attended Northwestern games and practices as a child.  Given both his and his father’s close relationship with the University and the local community, Robertson chose to play his college football at Northwestern and at the conclusion of his senior season in high school wrote a letter to Ara Parseghian explaining that fact.

Robertson attended Northwestern University from 1958-1962, where he played center under Coach Ara Parseghian.  He was team captain for the 1962 Northwestern team, which went 7-2 and was nationally ranked #1 in both the AP & UPI polls for part of that season. Robertson’s outstanding play at Northwestern earned him a position on the East team in the East-West Shrine Game and in the Southwest Challenge Bowl.  Robertson obtained his Bachelor of Arts from the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences at Northwestern University in 1962. Following his graduation, Robertson joined the U.S. Marine Corps and served as an infantry officer in Vietnam.

After a December return from Vietnam Robertson was hired by Northwestern Head Coach Alex Agase in January 1967, to serve as an assistant football coach on the Northwestern staff. He later would be retained by John Pont in a similar role. Robertson was an assistant offensive line coach from 1967-1968, wide receivers coach from 1969-1972, defensive line coach in 1973, and outside linebacker coach from 1974-1975. He also served as the special teams coach from 1967-1972. From 1968-1972 Robertson attended night school during the off-season to obtain his MBA degree from Northwestern University’s Graduate School of Management (now the Kellogg School of Management) in 1972.

Robertson left Northwestern University after the 1975 season to coach at Northern Illinois University, where he was the defensive coordinator, secondary, and special teams coach from 1976-1979 under head coach Pat Culpepper.  In the 1980 and 1981 seasons he was the tight ends, receivers, and special teams coach at the University of Wisconsin under Head Coach Dave McClain. In 1982 and 1983 Robertson was the defensive line and special teams coach at the University of Notre Dame working under head coach Gerry Faust and Defensive Coordinator Jim Johnson.  In 1984 he became the linebackers and special teams coach at the U.S. Military Academy, a position he held through the 1991 season, serving seven years under Head Coach Jim Young and one year under Head Coach Bob Sutton.

Robertson moved from the collegiate ranks to professional football, working as a defensive assistant and quality control coach for the Indianapolis Colts in 1992-1993 under head coach Ted Marchibroda and Defensive Coordinator Rick Venturi, a former colleague from the Agase staff at Northwestern. Robertson returned to the Colts in 1997, again as a defensive assistant and quality control coach under Lindy Infante and Defensive Coordinator Jim Johnson.

Robertson’s most recent tenure in the National Football League was during the 2000-2003 seasons as an offensive assistant and quality control coach for the New York Giants, working with offensive coordinator Sean Payton and head coach Jim Fassel.

Robertson is married to Mary Kathryn Robertson and they have a son, William.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Jay Robertson Football Playbooks, Scouting Reports, and Game Plans

Identifier: 31/6/118

Football playbooks, scouting reports and game plans from the periods 1959-1962 and 1967-1972 from Donald A. "Jay" Robertson, Jr., a football player and coach at Northwestern University, and a coach at other unviersities and for National Football League teams.

Dates: 1949-1972; Other: Date acquired: 02/08/2012