Coach Fran Giblin was one of the two original male coaches that began the athletic programs at Cardinal Gibbons. In 1961 Father Dennehy challenged Coach Giblin to lay the foundation for athletics in this new Catholic high school in Ft. Lauderdale. It turned out to be a challenge indeed, but one he eagerly undertook. In his 20 year tenure, Coach started the track program, was head coach of both boys and girls swimming and diving teams, and assistant coach in both football and basketball. In addition to his coaching responsibilities, Coach Giblin wore many other “hats” including transportation facilitator (driving athletes from Boca to Ft. Lauderdale), and (with the help of his wife Grace) launderer, washing uniforms at home. Since Gibbons had no athletic facilities in the early years, the swimming team did a great deal of traveling to games and even to practice, going from Boca, to Coral Ridge CC, to the YMCA, and to the Hall of Fame.
For the 18 years he was the head coach of the boys and girls swimming teams, Gibbons was represented at the state tournament. The team was in the top ten 5 of those years. In 1968 the girls were state runners-up, and he coached three individual state champions.
Coach Giblin proudly served in the Air Force during WWII as a military policeman and sharpshooter. He married his beautiful wife Grace in 1948 and had 5 children: twins Chip and Fran ’69, Pam ’75 (CGH Athletic Hall of Fame 2004), Doreen ’81, and John.
In 2007 he was inducted into the track “Circle of Honor” at CGH.
In April of 2008 Coach and Mrs. Giblin will celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary together with their children, ten grandchildren, and three great grandchildren.