News From Friday

UPDATE SUNDAY: A GoFundMe has been established for Brian’s memorial expenses. I hope you’ll donate. I plan to.  Please go here to donate:

I had meant to stay off-grid all weekend, but this couldn’t wait.

I learned late last night that Raines coach Brian Gilbert, who, as many of us have been aware, has been battling illnesses and has had more hospital stays than any of us would want, just in the very recent past, has passed away as of last night after yet another hospital visit, where he’d had a successful surgery, according to what I’ve learned. A fellow coach passed the news on to me.

briangilbert

Raines coach Brian Gilbert (Photo submitted by Dale Campbell via Facebook).

Brian is survived by his wife, Iris, and a loving family — not to mention both the Raines and the wrestling communities — where all who met him loved being in his company.

His story-telling and his hospitality — not to mention his belly laugh — will echo in my mind forever. Brian’s service to the Jacksonville inner city and the wrestlers he coached, and the men he helped build, can never be replaced.I know that Brian would not want us to grieve long, but rather to live well.

I know that he would tell us all to be mindful of our health going forward, and to make family a priority.

Loving others was always his priority. His wrestlers, in so many ways, were his sons. And we were all his friends. And he will be missed.

I have no details at the present time as far as planned arrangements. If I learn of any, I will of course forward them. I also do not know if the quad meet, scheduled Wednesday night at Raines — a meet I would have covered — will still be held.

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I covered wrestling for 15 years up north and "retired" in both 1992 and again in 2011. But I couldn't stay away. Started Northeast Florida Matmen in 2013, Northwest Florida Matmen in 2015. We combined those sites into North Florida Matmen in the summer of 2018. And, we've started South Georgia Matmen in November of 2018. Our work is never paywalled, our content is searchable for all time. We're here because the kids keep lacing 'em up, so we'll keep writing 'em up.

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