When 41-year-old English teacher Christian Fuller was asked to be the next head coach for a struggling golf program, his first thoughts weren’t on the downhill side of the green.
“I want to improve this golf program, get the community involved,” Fuller said, who was named head coach of the Camp Verde High School golf team over the winter.
Camp Verde Athletic Director Mark Showers reported the change in January that Fuller would be taking over for longtime head coach Steve Stone.
Fuller, an Akron, Ohio, native, graduated from Akron Firestone High School in 1988.
An all-sport athlete, Fuller competed in football, basketball and played well enough in baseball to be on the All-City team at catcher his junior and senior seasons.
Fuller then attended the College of Wooster and played one year of baseball before suffering a career-ending injury.
“I was behind the plate and a batter swung through and hit my glove hand. It was catcher’s interference and I broke my hand. Since then, every time I catch my hand swells up so I stopped playing,” Fuller said.
Fuller received his degree in English literature in 1992 but found himself working in sales in the wireless industry for nearly 15 years.
Fuller went back to school and got his master’s in education with a focus in language arts in 2009, hoping to catch on somewhere as a teacher and a coach.
“I decided I needed a change,” Fuller said. “I was looking at different career options and I wanted to teach and be a coach.”
Since English teachers are a dime a dozen in Ohio, according to Fuller, there were jobs in Connecticut, North Carolina, Nevada and Arizona.
Camp Verde Principal Bob Weir contacted Fuller in July 2009 to fill the open English teacher position, and within 10 days Fuller found himself in town.
In the spring of 2010, Fuller coached the Camp Verde Middle School baseball team, but was asked to stay with the high school this spring and coach golf.
“I’ve been an avid golfer since I was 10. When I was in college, I caddied at the local country club. I didn’t play in high school but that’s only because I was more into football,” Fuller said.
When he isn’t teaching English or a golf swing, Fuller finds himself spending his free time with Lisa, his wife of just over a year, and her two young boys.
The duo like to hit the movies and watch foreign films together. Fuller also likes to play Guitar Hero and Rock Band, the video games.
“I told my kids that at the high school and they give me a little crap but it’s OK. I love music. I don’t like video games, but for some reason I like Rock Band,” Fuller said.
Fuller says he can’t wait to get the season under way in a few weeks and is happy to be where he is in life.
“I thought I could have an impact on the program here at Camp Verde, which is why I took the job. I’m excited for the season to begin,” Fuller said.