Frank Golino stood almost silent, watching his newest pupil stoop down and setting his grip on the cold deadlift bar.
Jake Marsh wiggled his fingers to secure his grasp before hoisting 450 pounds off the mat. The weights crashed to the ground after a few quick reps.
“Good,” muttered Golino.
The man in the black sweater is a man of little words who chooses his few wisely. Growing up in New Jersey, he fell in love with boxing -- and trouble. Golino got in with “the wrong crowd” and made decisions that sent him down a road he never meant to travel. He wound up with a breaking and entering charge on his record.
“I want to avoid that for other kids,” he said.
Things had to change.
Golino moved to Florida two years ago and missed the sport of boxing. He got the itch to teach young fighters lessons – both in the ring and in life. He’s now a boxing mentor with an eye for troubled kids.
“He’s really been passionate since Day 1. He’s never given up on me. Never will,” said Marsh, who graduated from Ridgewood High School in May. “Whatever he says. It’s his way or the highway.”
Golino watched Marsh pound a 150-pound heavy bag suspended from the ceiling with a series of vicious left hooks. The sound echoed throughout the small training room.
“For a big guy that’s pretty fast,” the coach said.
Marsh hopes to make the University of South Florida football team this spring as a walk-on player. He thinks training for boxing will help with that. If the football doesn’t work out, Golino thinks Masrh has some real natural skill in the ring.
“You’re on fire,” he said as he watched the 19-year old punish the speed bag.
The hope for Golino is that he can find kids just like who he used to be. He wants to find teenagers who are headed down the wrong road with that “wrong crowd” he knows so much about. He doesn’t want kids to make the same mistakes he made and feels like boxing is the structure that could get the job done.
“It’s a passion of mine,” he said.
Golino does private boxing instruction at the Richey Racquet club in Port Richey. His hope is to expand to group lessons.
Right now, his supplies are limited.
Frank’s impact, according to his fighters, is not.
“Nothing beats hard work,” said Marsh.
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