New face to lead West M boys basketball

FALLS TOWNSHIP — Jackson Kelsheimer has a diverse background in basketball.

He played the up-tempo style for Fairmont State coach Tim Koenig then learned a slower-paced game with matchup zone as an assistant for Central Georgia Tech coach Gerald Fitch, who played at Kentucky.

Kelsheimer's background was among the reasons why the West Muskingum Board of Education voted unanimously to approve his hiring as the district’s next head boys’ basketball coach.

Kelsheimer was also an assistant coach at Fairmont State in West Virginia for two years and most recently was an assistant at Central Georgia Tech for one year. He also had a successful playing career at Cornerstone Christian, which won the Division IV state title in 2016, as well as at Notre Dame College and Fairmont State.

Jackson Kelsheimer
Jackson Kelsheimer

He replaces Jeff Rinkes, who was not offered a new contract after the season. Superintendent Chad Shawger said he appreciated what Rinkes did for the program for the past five years.

"We have been extremely impressed with Coach Kelsheimer throughout the entire interview process," said West Muskingum High School principal Brady Harrison. "It is a bonus that he has experience both playing and coaching at the college level. We are confident that his knowledge and passion for the game will allow him to help take our program to the next level."

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Athletic Director Pete Woods added there were 26 applicants and eight were initially interviewed.

"Coach Kelsheimer stood out as a young man that would build positive relationships with our student-athletes," said Woods. "We were very pleased that we had such a diverse applicant pool with quality candidates, and it was important to us that we find the right fit for West Muskingum. Jackson, although young, impressed us from the beginning with his maturity and enthusiasm."

Kelsheimer, who will be teaching Social Studies at West Muskingum Middle School, interviewed for several jobs, but was drawn to West M by the administration.

"I felt like I was ready for this. Going from Fairmont to Central Georgia gave me a better feel for the game. It was a good experience and led to character building for myself," he said. "The administration at West really appealed to me. It's the No. 1 reason why I accepted the job because you can tell they care about the students and the school."

The Tornadoes are slated to bring back several starters and contributors from last season. Kelsheimer saw the talent on film and praised Nate Brownrigg and his football staff for their strength and conditioning program.

"It feels like a really good place to develop players. From watching film, I believe we have the personnel to speed up and play a faster pace," he said. "We're going to use a variety of presses on defense, and we will look to move the ball around. It will be some creating your own shots, as well as kicking it out to the shooters.

"There's a lot to learn, but I believe we have the guys to do this," he added. "The football coach has them in the weight room so I can focus on getting the guys into the gym. I want them to get up shots and see what they can do, and I'm looking forward to the opportunity."; X: @brandonhannahs

This article originally appeared on Zanesville Times Recorder: West Muskingum basketball gets new coach for 2024-25 season