Peter Gobiel, a longtime educator and coach in the Winthrop school system, was appointed on July 8 as director of athletics for Winthrop High School.
Superintendent of Schools John Macero said Gobiel will also serve as the director of physical education/health for grades K-12 and transportation coordinator for the schools and sports teams.
“Mr. Gobiel has the physical education and wellness background that I think will be very beneficial to all of our students,” said Macero. “His 31 years of experience in the district will also be very valuable to the teachers in being able to provide knowledge for those areas.”
Gobiel previously served as director of athletics for two years (2002-3). He said he’s excited to be returning to the administrative position.
“It gives me an opportunity to work on some of the things that I was involved in a few years back,” said Gobiel. “I’m just excited to get in there and begin working on behalf of Winthrop’s student-athletes and coaches.”
Gobiel said there are some ongoing concerns about the condition of Winthrop’s athletic facilities.
“We have so many things that need to be fixed,” said Gobiel. “Miller Field is a nightmare. The track is a mess. You can’t even run on it. The gym needs a ton of work. Our programs have not had the greatest participation. We’re going to try build up the participation again. Playing sports is an outlet that has proven to be one of the better ways that kids keep their grades up, stay physically fit, get into colleges easier, and stay out of trouble.”
Gobiel graduated from Winthrop High School in 1975. He attended Boston State College where he continued his athletic career as a member of the BSC gymnastics team. He later coached gymnastics at Northeastern University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
The son of James and Norma Gobiel of Winthrop, he began his career as a science teacher at Winthrop Middle School and became a health teacher and physical teacher at Winthrop High School. Three years ago he started a sports medicine program at the high school. He coached Winthrop gymnastics for 20 years and track at the high school and middle school for seven years. He has been the owner and operator of Winthrop Gymnastics Academy for 27 years.
Gobiel said he will step down as WHS gymnastics coach and the team’s co-coach Melissa Wiles will take over the reins of the program.
Gobiel and his wife, Sharon, have four children, Jessica, a junior at Framingham State College, Jennifer, a 2011 WHS graduate who will be a freshman at Endicott College, Joseph, junior class president at Winthrop High, and Jamie, an incoming freshman at Winthrop High.
Gobiel began his duties as athletic director this week. “I’m looking forward to working with Mr. Macero in my new position,” he said. “We’re share one thing in common that I think will carry us for as many years as we’re going to work and that is that the kids are first.”
In his first interview as the new director of athletics, Gobiel talked about his current health. In March of 2009 Gobiel was diagnosed with throat cancer. He had radiation and chemotherapy treatments and underwent surgery. At one point he lost 50 pounds from his frame.
Gobiel said he feels fine and maintains a conditioning regimen in which he works out six mornings a week.
“All the tests have been coming out great,” said Gobiel. “I’ve been cancer free for two years. The prognosis is great for the future.”
Gobiel hopes his medical comeback can inspire others. “For a lot of people who are battling cancer, it’s kind of nice to hear that someone battled it and won and is still winning. Maybe this will give some people a lift that are dealing with it right now.”