COPPERAS COVE — The Copperas Cove and Coryell County Friends of Scouting presented Jack Welch with a Silver Eagle award Wednesday.

Silver Eagle recipients are people who display characteristics of the Boy Scouts oath and law in their everyday life, said Devon Langford, the Leon Valley Boy Scouts District executive director. “It is someone that younger people can look up to.”

Welch is a person who lives up to those criteria, said Jim Yeonopolus, the district chairman for the Leon Valley Boy Scouts.

“We felt he is a role model because of all the things he has done for the community,” Yeonopolus said.

Welch, who serves as Cove Independent School District’s athletic director and head football coach at Copperas Cove High School, has started programs and organizations such as Communities Helping Americans Mature, Progress and Succeed, also known as CHAMPS. The organization is made of students striving to live above the influence of alcohol and drugs and promote community service projects.

CHAMPS is just one aspect of how Welch embodies the Scout oath and laws of promoting good citizenship, Langford said.

During speeches about the Cove Bulldawg football program, Welch doesn’t talk about the importance of winning; he addresses the importance of education and teaching students to excel, Langford said.

Joe Lombardi, who works with Welch, said the Silver Eagle honoree’s virtues also are seen in operations like the Welch Foundation, which provides scholarships to students and this year started awarding teachers funds for education as well.

“He has done a lot,” Yeonopolus said.

Welch showed his appreciation for the Boy Scouts organization during his acceptance of the award.

“This is not about Jack Welch,” he said. “It is about scouting. ... (Scouting) is exciting. It gives them something to do, but also measures their importance. It gives them responsibility.”

Welch was the second Silver Eagle honoree in Copperas Cove. The Boy Scout district started the program in Copperas Cove last year by honoring Marty Smith, a former Copperas Cove Chamber of Commerce president.

Contact Mason W. Canales at or (254) 501-7474

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