A 1990 Rio Grande graduate, Forte is in his 20th year of teaching high school English at Hilliard Bradley High School. This Ohio High School Softball Hall of Fame member says softball is his passion. He has received numerous softball coaching awards since he began coaching in the Summer of 1997. He served 15 years as the Head Softball Coach for the school at which he teaches, and was the Assistant Athletic Director for 10 years.
1. What made you choose to pursue a college education at Rio Grande?
I love the arena of helping young people pursue their passion and life development. Rio Grande’s education program is well known for their rigor and outstanding faculty of developing quality educators. To this day, I still use the material and guidance I was taught in their education program.
2. How were you involved on Rio’s campus?
I was a member of Tau Kappa Epsilon, a Resident Assistant for three years in Holzer Hall, a member of the Yearbook staff, ran the shot clock at the basketball games, and a member of SIFE (Students in Free Enterprise).
3. What did Rio offer you besides an education?
Rio gave me the opportunity to interact with so many diverse students and professors. It also allowed me to come out of my “shell” and become the adult I am today.
4. What are some of your favorite Rio memories?
Fraternity events, The Redman, Bob Evans Farms, Beer Blasts, being an RA, and meeting a lot different students and parents. Also, watching the campus grow into a very beautiful place.
5. Was there any teacher, advisor, coach, etc. that make an impact on your life? How?
Mark Abell, Mrs. Dailey, Larry Spees, Earl Thomas, Geno Moore, and Krystal Wilson. I owe a lot of gratitude to these people for making me realize I can become the person I am today. I’m now open minded and a better communicator.
6. What did you learn about yourself during college?
Mostly, being open minded. I also learned to accept all kinds of people, take chances and know it is ok to fail. I was a totally different person when I left Rio – for the good!
7. Tell us about life after Rio.
Right after graduation, I was hired as an Assistant Director of Admissions at Rio and later that year, hired as the Head Softball Coach. In the summer of 1997, I left Rio to become a high school English teacher and Head Softball Coach at Hilliard Davidson High School in Hilliard, Ohio. For 15 years, I taught English, was the Assistant Athletic Director, and Head softball Coach. I then retired from coaching for one year and became a high school softball umpire. I then returned to Davidson to become the Varsity Softball Assistant Coach. I currently teach English at Hilliard Bradley High School.
8. How did Rio prepare you for your career?
Due to the rigor of the curriculum, I developed discipline, organization skills, and learned to have an open mind. All of these qualities prepared me for a career in education and coaching.
9. Why are you proud to be a Rio Alumna/Alumnus?
Because my life changed in a positive way being a Rio student. I owe the university for everything I have achieved in my career.
10. Do you have any advice for current students?
Believe in your dreams and be open to change. Enjoy the process of college and develop pride in yourself.
11. Is there anything else you would like to add?
The University of Rio Grande is a special place to grow as an individual and it is a family for life. I’m proud I spent close to 10 years at the university both as a student, coach, and a professional.