Player of the Week

Copperas Cove running back Jaylon Hannah, second from right, accepts his award as the Freddy’s-KDHpressbox.com Player of the Week from Freddy’s Steakburgers managers Nita Conteras, left, and Nick Turk, right. Hannah was joined at the September 2016 ceremony by Cove offensive coordinator Tracy Welch.

For the first time in 24 years, Copperas Cove is searching for an offensive coordinator.

Since 1994, the Bulldawgs recorded numerous points on the scoreboard as a result of Tracy Welch’s philosophies. Now, after helping guide the program to 192 victories, Welch is moving on.

While leaving his home of more than two decades is admittedly difficult, Welch is looking forward to taking over as head coach and athletic director at Class 4A, Division I Lake Worth.

“It’s exciting to be able to start building my own staff and see what we can do,” he said, “but at the same time, I’ve had so much leniency and freedom to do what I wanted to do here in Copperas Cove, and I really feel successful.

“I really appreciate all the time I’ve had here, but it’s exciting to go and do my own thing now.”

The Bulldawgs experienced a wealth of offensive success under Welch with a pair of trips to the state championship game in 2006 and 2007 highlighting his tenure.

The victories and deep postseason runs are only part of the memories Welch will take with him, though.

“When I look back over the 24 years,” he said, “and I think about the kids I’ve impacted or touched, or the kids that matured into young men and are successful in life, whether we played for the state championship of a playoff spot, seeing how you affect kids’ lives is the most satisfying thing to me.”

Lake Worth, which will compete in District 6-4A, DI during the next two seasons, is coming off a 2-9 campaign, but the Bullfrogs qualified for the playoffs every year since 2011.

And Copperas Cove head coach and athletic director Jack Welch expects the streak to continue.

“Tracy is the full package,” he said. “He’s got great knowledge, he works with everybody really well and will have live up to the vision and the mission of the administration and school board, and the coaches he hires will be great teachers.

“And the players will love him, because he is one of the finest coaches I have ever seen when it comes to handling players.”

And Jack Welch would know.

In addition to his role with Tracy Welch, including 24 years at Copperas Cove and five years together at the collegiate level, Jack Welch is entering a season without his brother on his staff for the first time in nearly three decades.

Despite the personal and professional loss, Jack Welch is content.

“I’m just happy for him,” Jack Welch said. “He’s well past deserving and ready to be a head coach and athletic director.

“He’s turned down countless jobs over the years, and I’m just excited to see him get an opportunity to go somewhere that he can make a difference.”

Tracy Welch echoed the sentiment.

“Jack and I have coached together for 29 years,” he said, “and I played under him for two more years. It’s been a lot of fun being with him, but I just feel now is the time to go and do this.”

Contact Clay Whittington at clayw@kdhnews.com

(1) comment

centexdave

Best of luck to him and his family.

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