While the workday might seem long for some, RCMA teacher Filiberto Gorosquieta is busy before, during and after the school bell. During the workday, “Mr. G” is a resource teacher with the migrant program at the Immokalee Community Academy. When that part of his day is done, he heads a few blocks over to Immokalee High School and is head coach of the school wrestling teams.
Recently, Mr. G was named Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) wrestling Coach of the Year for the Southwest Florida region. The honor is voted on by the various coaches in the area, who recently were polled for the best male wrestler, female wrestler, and best coach. After the voting, Mr. G was named best of the best for 2023.
“I couldn’t believe it,” he recalls. “There are so many great coaches in our region, and to have them vote for me is overwhelming. I am so grateful!”
A native of Immokalee, and an RCMA baby himself, Filiberto competed as a wrestler for Immokalee High while a student there. “I competed my junior and senior year,” he says. “Growing up in Immokalee, wrestling was a way to stay out of trouble, so that’s what I did.”
Instead of going straight to college and continuing his wrestling career, Filiberto chose to experience the working world and put off his college education for a few years. He also volunteered at RCMA which eventually turned into a job once he went back to school to earn his degree.
He went back to his alma mater to work as an assistant head coach, and within a year, was promoted to head coach. In five years as head coach, Filiberto has had some remarkable players, but this year has been extra special. Three players from his girls’ wrestling team have been named to the 2023 All-Region Girls Wrestling Team, two medaling in state competition, and all three are Player of the Year nominees. For Mr. G, it’s a passion for the sport and his students that keeps him going.
“For my students at RCMA and for the athletes that I coach, to see the success that they are having, that they believe in their hard work, and that hard work really pays off, that makes it for me. It’s a great feeling to know that the time that I have put in, the countless hours, it’s really paid off.
“I think that some kids need more, and I’m happy to spend the time helping them. I just want to make a difference in the community. I mean, I know what it feels like. When I was young, our coaches and teachers put in the extra hours for me, so this gives me a chance to pay it forward.”
An awards ceremony is scheduled for Thursday, June 8th at Suncoast Arena on the campus of Florida SouthWestern State College. Congratulations Mr. G! We are so proud of you!