|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 a supporting character in the anime series Free! beginning with Free! He is an alumnus of Iwatobi High School and a former member of their swim club. He goes 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 an owner-coach at ITSC RETURNS, as well as occasionally coaching the Iwatobi High School Swim Club. He continues to support the former swim club members.
Goro has vermillion eyes and short, blond hair styled into a fade cut on the sides with longer bangs on top, swept to the right. A star is shaved into the hair on the left side of his head, something he lacked when Rin Matsuoka returned from Australia to race Haruka Nanase during an early junior high school winter break. He sports a pencil moustache and goatee, as well as two pierced earrings in his left ear.
When 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 tropical shirts and shorts in various colors. He is often seen driving his pizza delivery vehicle, even when he is not working.
He seems to be a kind and friendly coach. He gets along with his students and knows them well. Although he seems to have enjoyed coaching, he also seems content with his job as a part-time pizza deliveryman. It is later revealed that he still likes to coach swimming and is a very tough coach, earning the nickname, "Goro the Demon."
Despite already having a part-time job, Goro decides to coach the Iwatobi High School Swim Club for free as they prepare for their relay competition. He continuously urges them to practice and to takes note of their faults in form, kicks and time. He sometimes gets exasperated and tells them that they "don't know what they're doing." Goro sometimes sets up recording equipment at the pool, so the swimmers can check out their form from multiple angles, which proves effective.
In the past, Goro was the coach of the swimming teams 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 deliveryperson.
- Main article: Goro Sasabe/Story
After the original Iwatobi Swim Club closes, he works as a deliveryperson, but begins coaching again when he observes the enthusiasm of the teen-aged Haruka, Makoto, Nagisa, and Rei Ryugazaki 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.
- 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 named 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).