Frank Gore returns home to help neighborhood of West Coconut Grove

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Frank Gore with West Coconut Grove resident Mary Bryant, who knew Gore and his family growing up. Photo credit: Josh Halper

Mary Bryant, a long time resident of West Coconut Grove, remembers a young boy named Frank Gore walking to his youth football games at the nearby Armbrister Park.

Bryant lived right next door to the two-story apartment that Gore shared with his nine other family members.

“I remember him as a little boy going to the games,” Bryant said. “As the years went on, he was very good and his mom would take him to practice and his siblings would go watch them play. I remember his mom taking the bus, public transportation because they didn’t have any transportation at the time, to go watch him play.”

Gore attended Coral Gables High School from 1997 to 2000, where he broke several Miami-Dade county records, including rushing yards (2953) and touchdowns (34) and single-game rushing yards (419)

As one of the top ranked prospects coming out of high school, Gore had an offer to play as Mississippi, but at the time, Gore’s mother Liz was suffering from kidney disease as a result of a drug addiction. Gore chose to stay home and attend the University of Miami so he could help take care of his mother.

As a freshman at Miami, Gore earned his way onto the field and rushed for 562 yards. But in 2002, his sophomore year, the running back tore his ACL and missed the entire season. Gore rehabbed all year and played in the first few games of the 2003 season, only to tear his ACL again. But in the end, all that mattered was his senior year, where he led Miami in carries, rushing yards and rushing touchdowns.

Drafted in the third round with the 65th overall pick by the San Francisco 49ers, Gore spent 10 years as the team’s primary running back. In 2015, Gore signed a three-year contract with the Colts, where he moved into eight place on the all-time career rushing list. Gore spent the 2018 season with the Miami Dolphins, where he moved into fourth place on the all-time career rushing list despite not recording a single rushing touchdown for the first time in his career. This past year, Gore signed a one-year deal with the Buffalo Bills.

Throughout his 15-year NFL career, Gore has become one of the most successful running backs in history.

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In partnership with Rebuilding Together, Gore spent the week leading up to the Super Bowl in West Coconut Grove, helping repair nine homes and a barbershop. Photo credit: Josh Halper

Now, Gore is committed to giving back to the impoverished community he grew up in.

“I’m in a position to come back to my neighborhood and help people who I know, to do better in my neighborhood, to build better houses,” Gore said.

In the week leading up to the Super Bowl, Gore partnered with Rebuilding Together to give back to his hometown.

Rebuilding Together is a national nonprofit that works to provide safe and healthy housing to communities across the country. For the past 25 years, Rebuilding Together has partnered with the NFL to help rebuild local neighborhoods in the Super Bowl host cities.

Gore spent the day with Bryant and other residents of West Coconut Grove and helped out with renovations to nine homes and two local community buildings. With the help of the local Rebuilding Together Miami-Dade, the renovations have been in the works for a month.

“Its great having Frank out because he’s obviously a hometown boy who grew up a couple of block away from here,” said Travis Renville, the executive director at Rebuilding Together Miami-Dade. “Its just great to see him investing back into the community and just helping out in any way possible. It’s just really inspirational for Rebuilding Together and our volunteers and the community in general.

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Gore attended the University of Miami from 2001-2004, where he set numerous school records. Photo credit: Josh Halper

Gore explained that this project, and specifically the renovations to Bryant’s house, are special because Bryant knew his family and his mother, who passed away in 2007.

“Mary, I want to say I’m happy to be here. Thank you for letting me come in your home and thank you to Rebuilding Together,” Gore said. “I’m a happy man because she knows my mama. She knows my family. So, it was a blessed day today and I’m happy that y’all came to Coconut Grove.”