Thursday, July 14, 2011

OSG High: Georgia Coaching Legend Luther Welsh Passes

((HT: WJBF-TV/WRDW-TV Augusta))

Georgia high school head coaching legend Luther Welsh passed away Thursday morning...

Welsh was a head coach in the state since 1955 and continuously since 1968 at Dougherty, Camden County, Greene County, Screven County, and two terms at Thomson High School in suburban Augusta. He was head coach of the Bulldogs for 19 years and three titles to go with ten region titles.

Brent Buffington talked to those who Welsh touched most...

The following is an excerpt from a book the HQ has just finished...

"Georgia High School Football: Peach State Pigskin History"

On the field, changes took place all over, starting in Thomson with the retirement of Luther Welsh. Coach Welsh conquered lymphoma in the past decade, but succumbed to the disease in July of 2011. Both he and his wife, Anne, were facing battles with the disease, and at the end of the 2010 season decided that it was time for him to return home to Bishopville, South Carolina, and leave the coaching to another.

Anne had half of a lung removed in September 2010 as part of her battle and she passed almost a week before he did. Coach Welsh traveled to Augusta for his own treatments for cancer. The couple, who would have been married fifty years in September of 2011, were looking to enjoy their time at home. “The devil is trying to get us,” Anne told the Augusta Chronicle’s Scott Michaux after she fell and broke her hip during her own recovery in 2010.

The new Bulldogs coach comes from the town of Twin City, otherwise known as “Greymont-Summit.” Milan Turner won a Class A title at ECI with Georgia tailback Washaun Ealey in 2007, and he understands his new place—having been chosen over one hundred other applicants.

“You don’t replace a Coach Welsh,” Turner said after his unanimous confirmation by the McDuffie County School Board in February. “He leaves a legacy that will stand. It’s a great honor to follow a coaching legend like Luther Welsh. I understand the expectations. I understand the tradition.”

Welsh passes on having coached his way into the top eight on the all-time national list of most games coached. Welsh coached 507 games with eleven different schools, winning 329 of them. His record at Thomson was 174-47-2 with the Bulldogs, and his overall record was 333-181-6.

The book is set to be released in late August through The History Press...

The HQ sends its condolences to the entire Thomson family...

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