When Bob Fresch stepped down as coach of the football team at Westerville Central High School, little did he realize that his departure from coaching wouldn't last that long.

When Bob Fresch stepped down as coach of the football team at Westerville Central High School, little did he realize that his departure from coaching wouldn't last that long.

Fresch, who resigned Nov. 3, has taken over the wrestling program at Central. He replaces Jerry McSwords, who stepped down Oct. 23 to spend time with his ailing brother, Todd, who died Oct. 31.

McSwords enjoyed several special moments since helping form the wrestling program six years ago. A highlight was coaching Brendan Barlow to the Division I state title at heavyweight division in 2006.

"That whole year was just a great team of kids," McSwords said. "I told them at the banquet that was one of the best teams I'd ever coached because we had won so many tournaments. They had done very well and being down at the state tournament watching Brendan win the state title and just to be on the main floor in the main event was one of those remarkable things that I will always remember."

Barlow finished second in the state the next season.

"I was looking forward to the season," McSwords said. "In our freshman class there were a lot of kids that were interested. Even in our senior class I had kids that were interested in wrestling."

McSwords was the wrestling coach at Westerville North from 2000-02 and assisted Fresch from 1994-99.

McSwords said he will remain involved with the sport as he plans on following the career of his nephew, Zane, at Martins Ferry. Zane, who was a district qualifier last season, is Todd's son.

McSwords also will continue to follow the Central program.

"We had some very good teams here," athletics director Andy Ey said. "Brendan Barlow was a state champion. We had several state qualifiers and some really good individual accomplishments by the wrestlers."

"Jerry started this program," Fresch said. "He's the man. He did a heck of a job."

Fresch was an assistant wrestling coach at Walnut Springs Middle School in Westerville for two seasons and later an assistant at North during the 1978-79 season before taking over. He guided the Warriors on and off for 13 seasons before helping form the football program at Central.

Assistants Phil Carney, Joel Brown and Ryan Moran will remain with the program.

Central will open Dec. 6 at the Ken Ash Invitational at Licking Heights.

"I know the sport," Fresch said. "It's one of those things where you have an eye for it, you know what they have to do. You have assistant coaches that know what has to be taken care of and I've told them I'm not in here to change things. I know what they do. I want it to be the same. I want to keep working it because there's been a lot of success with what's been done, so we'll continue to do the same things."