Coach of the Week: Harry Welch of Santa Margarita
RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA, Calif. (KABC) -- Dozens of fans, administrators and students turned out recently to honor the man who has put Santa Margarita football back on the map.
Head coach Harry Welch took over the Santa Margarita Catholic High School football program coming off back-to-back losing seasons and now has the Eagles ranked fourth in the state in his second year.
He credits a great coaching staff, while one of his former assistants says Welch has the ability to get the most out of each and every kid.
"It's a bit of tough love, it comes from my heart and it's probably not appreciated at the time, but it's sincere," Welch says. "They've accepted, they've bought in and I love them."
Fresno State head coach Pat Hill, who has also coached in the NFL, said Welch is the greatest coach he's ever been around when it comes to motivation.
Last year, Welch took on a new role of trying to motivate men to be proactive with their health.
Thirteen months ago, he underwent surgery for prostate cancer during the season and went public with his battle without missing a game.
"My wife and I discussed it, we made a conscious decision, that if we could help another man to have more time with his loved ones& then life would be more complete for me," Welch said.
That decision left an impression on many.
"We thought it was really inspirational showing how much he cared about us and how much he cared about football," said running back Ryan Wolpin. "It really inspired us to keep playing."
Welch is the only coach to win CIF state championships in football at two different schools: Canyon of Canyon Country and at St. Margaret's.
Next week, Santa Margarita will begin its playoff push.
football, john hartung
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