— Goro, about Haruka, Rin, Makoto and Nagisa medley relay race
|Also known as||Goro the Demon|
|Height||170 cm (5'7")|
|Weight||70 kg (154 lbs)|
|Occupation|| Swimming Team Coach |
Pizza Deliveryman (former)
Iwatobi High School (former)
|Clubs|| Iwatobi SC RETURNS|
(Iwatobi High School Swim Club)
Goro Sasabe (笹部 吾朗 Sasabe Gorou) is one of the main supporting characters of the anime series Free!. He is an alumnus of Iwatobi High School and a former member of their swim club. He went on to become a coach at the community-based Iwatobi Swimming Club where Haruka Nanase, Rin Matsuoka, Makoto Tachibana and Nagisa Hazuki used to practice when they were in elementary school. He currently works as a coach at Iwatobi SC RETURNS, as well as occasionally coaching the Iwatobi High School Swim Club.
Goro has short, golden hair, but despite that, his right bang is way longer than the rest of his hair. In the present, he has a brown star shaded onto on the left side of his head, which he didn't have at the time when Rin came back from Australia to have a race with Haruka. Goro has a light moustache and darker goatee. He wears two pierced earrings in his left ear.
When he's coaching or swimming, he wears a black, one-piece swimsuit. As a pizza deliveryperson, he wears a red-and-white jacket and shirt, both with a yellow star on the right side of the chest; red trousers and a red helmet. When not at work, Goro often wears Hawaiian shirts and shorts in various colors. Most of the time, Goro is seen driving his pizza delivery vehicle, even when he's not working.
Goro seems to be a kind and friendly coach. He gets well with his students and knows them very well. Although he seemed to have enjoyed coaching, he seems fine with his job as a part-time pizza deliveryman. It is later revealed that he still likes to coach swimming and is a very hard coach, earning the nickname of "Goro the Demon".
Despite already having a part-time job and not getting wages, Goro decides to continue coaching the Iwatobi High School swim team for their relay competition. He continuously urges them to practice more and takes note of their faults like swimming form, kicks and time. He sometimes gets exasperated soon and tells them that they 'don't know what they're doing'. Goro also uses to set up recording equipment at the pool, letting the swimmers check out their form from multiple angles, which proves effective.
In the past, Goro was the coach of the elementary school swimming team at the Iwatobi Swimming Club, which consisted of Haruka Nanase, Rin Matsuoka, Makoto Tachibana, Nagisa Hazuki and Aki Yazaki among others. However, the swimming club was soon disbanded and he found himself a part-time job as a pizza delivery man.
- Main article: Goro Sasabe/Story
After the original Iwatobi Swim Club closes, he works as a pizza deliveryperson, but begins coaching again when he observes the enthusiasm of the teen-aged Haruka, Makoto, Nagisa, Rei Ryugazaki and Rin as they work together to win the medley relay at regionals. He sells his grandfather's old squid fishing boat and rebuilds the club himself, naming it Iwatobi SC RETURNS (Iwatobi Swimming Club RETURNS).
- Main article: Goro Sasabe/Relationships
- Goro was one of the last members of the Iwatobi Swimming Club before it was shut down.
- Goro knows Miho Amakata's secret of once being the swimsuit model Marin, of whom he was a big fan.
- The flag on Goro's squid fishing boat says "Big Catch Sasa" (大漁 笹 Tairyou Sasa).