For the second time in a month, students and faculty at Gahanna Lincoln High School are mourning a death in the athletics department.

For the second time in a month, students and faculty at Gahanna Lincoln High School are mourning a death in the athletics department.

Assistant football coach Tim Nester died Oct. 25, two days after having a stroke on the field prior to the varsity game at Reynoldsburg.

Nester was 47. He is survived by his wife, Sheralee, sons Ryan and Eric and daughter Ashleigh. His funeral was scheduled for today at St. Matthew Catholic Church.

Athletics director Justin Sanford said Nester's dedication and passion for coaching stood out during his time at Gahanna.

"He was extremely dedicated to the kids," Sanford said. "He genuinely cared for all of them, no matter what position or what level you were on. He cared about the kids. He worked third shift most of the time, and then he'd go home and get a few hours of sleep, and then he would be here at 1:00, 1:30."

Nine days before Nester's death, Gahanna freshman girls basketball coach Bob Toopes died. His funeral was Oct. 21, just two days before the game against Reynoldsburg.

Nester had been with the high school football program for 10 years and had experience coaching football and basketball at Gahanna Middle School West. He was the defensive coordinator for the freshman team this season.

His son, Eric, graduated from Gahanna in 2006 and is a senior on the football team at Tiffin University. His son, Ryan, graduated from Gahanna in 2005 and is attending Columbus State Community College. His daughter, Ashleigh, is a 2000 Gahanna graduate.

The Lions' varsity football game against Groveport will be played as scheduled at home Friday, with a moment of silence planned prior to the game.

The freshman football team's game has been moved from tonight at Groveport to noon Saturday at Gahanna. Admission to the freshman game is free, and donations will be accepted for a fund in Nester's honor.

"We'd like to make sure our kids have a chance to grieve and to pay their respects to coach and his family," varsity football coach John Snoad said.

alarson@thisweeknews.com