Greg Swinson, who gave so much of himself as both a teacher and a coach to help the youth of Gloucester, recently had the newly renovated Gloucester Fishermen Fitness Room at the high school dedicated in his honor.
Alongside a picture of Swinson giving a thumbs up an inscription on the plaque reads, “For his dedication to the success of countless Gloucester students and athletes both on and off the field.”
Stories abounded on the night of the dedication of Swinson, who loved to help out underdogs and showed selfless commitment to students.
Swinson taught in the Gloucester Public Schools for 33 years, first at the Fuller School before making his mark as a social studies/history teacher at O’maley Middle School.
He served as an assistant coach on the Gloucester High School varsity football team under Terry Silva for more than a decade, specializing as the strength and conditioning coach. He also coached the GHS freshman football team.
“Greg impacted everyone in this room and countless others,” said O’Maley Middle School teacher Jeff Destino, speaking of an individual he views as a mentor. “He was an amazing human.”
Swinson’s widow Andrea Swinson said the old GHS weight room was a home away from home for Greg, who was there daily training others on the equipment up until his passing in 2019. She stated that he helped to foster confidence in students both as a teacher and coach while encouraging kids to work hard in order to achieve success. He also inspired some students to pursue careers in education.
Kevin O’Maley said his good friend Greg always put his heart into teaching and coaching. He was so dedicated to his students, whether that meant helping out a ninth-grader who walked into the weight room for the first time or making an effort to connect with youths and being a friendly face and advocate.
“Greg helped a lot of kids here, and I think this room will do the same,” said O’Maley said.
Greg’s mother Marie attended the festivities and got to cut the ribbon to commemorate the grand opening of the Gloucester Fishermen Fitness Center that honors her son.
The reshaped fitness room includes all new equipment, flooring, air conditioning and other amenities.
Gloucester High School Athletic Director Bryan Lafata commended the Gloucester Fishermen Athletic Association for stepping up as the driving force behind the project to renovate the former weight room into a fitness center.
Lafata recognized the GFAA members for their support that made the project come to fruition, including David Amero, Jeff Destino, Dawn Enos, Mark Fulford, Kristen Michel, Rosa Mortillaro, Rob Parsons, Tim Philpott, Jon Pratt, Linda Rogers, Jay Somers and Tim Wood.
Lafata thanked the GHS coaches and faculty members who were instrumental in selecting the proper equipment to provide for student-athletes, naming Dan O’Connor, Jason Mason, Alyssa Williamson, Jim Unis, Alexandra Mitchell, David Coleman, Rosa Goulart, Laura Carlson and Don Riley. He also thanked the GPS administration, School Committee and Gloucester Department of Public Works for their support of the project.