Jeff Hester has several reasons for leaving his job as Columbus North High School athletic director to become an assistant athletic director at Carmel High School.
“The biggest attraction is it’s Carmel, and it arguably has the best high school-based athletic program in the country,” Hester said. “I’m familiar with Carmel because I lived in Carmel before I moved to Columbus. In a lot of ways, Carmel feels like home to me.”
The Greyhounds have won a record 158 Indiana High School Athletic Association state titles.
In addition, Hester is eager to work with CHS Athletic Director Jim Inskeep, whom he has known for nearly 20 years.
“That was an opportunity professionally I couldn’t pass up,” Hester said.
Hester lived in Carmel while working for Heritage Christian School, where he served as a teacher/coach, assistant athletic director and athletic director. He has served as the Columbus North athletic director for the past 12 years.
Hester replaces Bruce Wolf, who had been assistant athletic director since 1994. Hester will begin his new position July 1.
“Any time you come into a new setting and environments, it’s learning a new system,” he said. “I joke that it’s the same rat race, but it’s a larger track, though. I’m looking forward to supporting Jimmy (Inskeep) any way I can. I’m going to help with a variety of things. One of them will be academic eligibility.”
Under Hester’s guidance, Columbus North won eight state titles in six different sports.
Hester said he will be actively involved with the Unified Sports program, which includes athletes with and without intellectual disabilities in track and field and flag football. Hester started the Unified track and field program at Columbus North.
Hester will commute to Carmel for the first year as his stepdaughter, Sydney Hollars, is finishing her senior year at Columbus North. His wife, Jennifer Hester, is the Columbus North dean of students.
Hester’s son, Bailey Hester, plays basketball at Taylor University, and his stepson, Isaiah Hollars, runs cross country and track at Belmont University. His youngest son, Brennan Hester, will be in sixth grade this fall, and daughter Madison Hester will be in third grade.