Maumee Youth Coach Pablo Barboza Critically Injured In Accident

Maumee Youth Wrestling coach Pablo Barboza, top left, huddles up with his wrestlers before a youth tournament at Genoa High School in February. Barboza was to be removed from life support earlier this week following a traffic accident on Tuesday night, June 6. MIRROR PHOTOS BY JEREMY SCHNEIDER

BY JEREMY SCHNEIDER | MIRROR SPORTS — The Maumee community will memorialize the shining light of Pablo Barboza, who suffered traumatic injuries in a traffic accident last week.

Barboza, 44, was taken off life support at Toledo Hospital earlier this week. with his organs scheduled to be donated. As of Tuesday morning, he was unconscious and awaiting the end of his life.

He was riding his bicycle during the night of Tuesday, June 6 when he was struck by a car.

Barboza was a volunteer coach for the Maumee Youth Wrestling program for many years, despite never having children who passed through the program. Barboza and his brother, Dan, won the Bridge Award at the Maumee Chamber of Commerce Hometown Hero awards in 2009.

A celebration of Barboza’s life will take place at 8:00 p.m. on Friday, June 16 at the Wolcott House in Maumee on what would have been his 45th birthday. Community members, former wrestlers and families are all invited to attend.

Since the accident, parents have posted comments to the MYW Facebook page, all sharing their sadness at the news and overall appreciation for everything Barboza had done for their children.

Gino Torio, who helps coach and run the youth program, posted his memories of Barboza to Facbeook on Sunday.

“About 20 years ago, I walked into the Maumee HS wrestling room to bring my two sons to their first practice with the Maumee Youth Wrestling team. That is when I met Pablo, he welcomed me to help join the coaching staff of the program. We coached Maumee Youth Wrestling together until my employment situation took me to Columbus. Nine years later, I returned to the Maumee wrestling room and Pablo welcomed me back again. He also welcomed my son Rocco, who was now 19 years old and an accomplished wrestler in his own right. It was very fun to watch my son coach alongside his old coach. Pablo was so happy to have one of ‘his kids’ coaching alongside him.

“Pablo was motivated by his genuine care for kids, his love of the sport and a desire to build the Maumee wrestling community. It was that simple. He never made any money from it and he did not have his own ego tied up in it. He just wanted to give the kids a chance to learn a sport he loved and, in the process, learn all the lessons that sport can teach. The guy had a rare dedication to others that made him something special.

“It seems impossible to me that Maumee Youth Wrestling will start next season and not have Pablo in the wrestling room. I can’t make sense out of it. But somehow, we will do it and I am sure he will be cheering for us. Rest in peace.”

The Wolcott House is located at 1035 River Rd.

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