Harry Ackerman

Athletic director of Absegami from 1976-2000 that hired Barber as the school's wrestling coach in 1978. Ackerman's sons, Tim and Scott, wrestled for Barber and his daughter, Tracey, was a team manager.

"He's a vocal guy and he's a demanding guy and on the mat, he can be a tough coach, but when everything is over, he'll put his arm around the kid and whether he won or lost, he's still a supporter of the kids. I think he'll be remembered and missed for the type of person he is as much as his success on the mat."

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Art Marinelli

Founder of the wrestling program at Oakcrest High School. As the Health and Physical Education Department Chairmen at Absegami, Marinelli hired Barber as a physical education teacher in 1977. Marinelli is a former two-time state champion from Washington High School (now Warren Hills) in 1955 and 1956, was the longtime athletic director at Egg Harbor Township High School and is the site director for the State Wrestling Championships at Boardwalk Hall.

"Gene's had impact statewide. He's even in the South Jersey Hall of Fame and he's still coaching and that says something. They usually wait until you're retired for all that. He's done a tremendous job for the sport in the area and in the state. The way he handles kids, the way he cheers for them not only on the mat but in the classroom and his ability to handle many different situations, he's going to be tough to replace."


Mike Caiazza

Longtime head coach at Egg Harbor Township High School, Caiazza was an assistant under Barber for two years at Absegami in the mid-80's. Despite having some solid teams over the years, the Eagles have never once defeated Absegami.

"He's been the one to emulate in my coaching. He's been a great mentor to me. He's always been there for me. .He's a throwback in the sport. He's a hard-working blue-collar kind of guy that has excelled. I'm getting like teary just thinking about it now. He's a great guy and I don't know how Region 8 is going to be without him."


Paul Morina

Morina is the longtime coach of Paulsboro High School, one of the most successful programs in the state, where Barber and he each attended high school. Morina and brother Carmel Morina were workout partners of Barber's while they were in high school and Barber in college. Heading into the season, Morina has one more career win (483) than Barber's 482. Absegami and Paulsboro have been on each other's schedule for more than 20 years.

"We've had some great matches over the years. We just have a lot of respect for each other and each other's programs. We appreciate what both of us are trying to do. I think he's had a big impact on wrestling in south Jersey. He's done a lot for the sport and his program and his kids."



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