After Matt Schneider resigned as coach of the Dublin Jerome High School boys golf team last fall because he was moving to Cincinnati, athletics director Nick Magistrale didn't have to search far for a replacement.

After Matt Schneider resigned as coach of the Dublin Jerome High School boys golf team last fall because he was moving to Cincinnati, athletics director Nick Magistrale didn't have to search far for a replacement.

Craig Zesiger, who served as Jerome's varsity assistant and varsity B coach in 2010, has been hired as the Celtics' new head coach.

"Craig is a (science) teacher here at Dublin Jerome and that's a very positive attribute because building a rapport with student-athletes in our building is integral to having success in any sport in interscholastic athletics," Magistrale said. "His communication and organization are fantastic, and those attributes are really going to help our program moving forward."

In two seasons at Jerome, Schneider guided the Celtics to two OCC-Cardinal Division titles and two Division I sectional championships.

The Celtics finished third in the state tournament in 2010 after finishing eighth the previous season.

In its first five seasons of existence under Jim Hull, Jerome won Division I state championships in 2005 and 2007, captured the Division II state title in 2004 and finished second in the Division I state tournament in 2006 and 2008.

"Dublin Jerome has an incredible tradition in golf and we're looking for that to continue," Zesiger said. "It's been a good transition because I already know many of our guys from teaching and coaching, and they already know my expectations. These guys already have their swings down. My job is to be a motivator and to help them with the mental part of the game."

Zesiger played four seasons of golf at Westerville North. He graduated in 1996.

He learned the game from his older brother, John, who played golf at Purdue University before working as a professional instructor for 10 years.

After earning a degree in biology from the University of Kentucky in 2000, Zesiger spent six months doing ecological-based research in Costa Rica. He continued his research and taught marine biology on Andros Island, the largest island in the Bahamas, from 2001 through 2007.

Zesiger returned to central Ohio and earned an education degree from Capital University in 2009, and he has taught science and served as an assistant varsity hockey coach at Jerome the past two school years.

"Being a teacher at Jerome allows me to have a big impact on the kids, because I'm an educator first," Zesiger said. "I want the kids to carry themselves with high integrity and I want them to do well both in the classroom and on the golf course."

Three of the five Celtics who competed in the 2010 state tournament are expected to return to lead the team in the fall, including senior Chad Merzbacher, who is a Tennessee recruit.

"This school has a great tradition for producing great golfers, and I have high expectations for what this team can accomplish," Zesiger said. "We're setting the bar high and our goal is to compete for another state championship."