Coach Shegog, as we still call him today, is one of the oldest living people with HIV. He received his diagnosis in 1986, five years before Magic Johnson. Treatment and outcomes during this time were so poor that contracting the virus was a death sentence. Coach Shegog lost numerous loved ones to the virus and he suffered multiple bouts with the often fatal opportunistic pneumonias.
Yet he persisted. Driven by his passion for wrestling, he needed to make sure his students were on track with their classes, able to graduate high school, and ready to continue their postgraduate pursuits. He knew everything about them and made sure they knew nothing about him. They never knew when he was sick, never met the man he loved, and never knew he had to abstain from some critical wrestling moments to be with his dying partner.
He knew coaching wrestling wouldn't have been an option had people learned the truth about him in the 1970's, 1980s, 1990s, and possibly in the 2000s. He lived a lie and did so for the sake of his students. Learn about how Robert Shegog navigated these difficult issues in order to be the teacher, coach, father figure, and exemplary role model that inspired multiple generations of students.