Coach Harry Welch formerly of Santa Margarita

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easycheesy
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Coach Harry Welch formerly of Santa Margarita

Post by easycheesy »

Don't know how many people lurk this board and remember this guy. But I just had a conversation with a parent whose kids played at SM for Harry Welch. He didn't elaborate too much but he told me good of a coach he was but how overbearing he was. It felt like he wanted to tell me more but he was biting his tongue.

That takes me back...just how bad was he? Was he really as bad as people say?
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Re: Coach Harry Welch formerly of Santa Margarita

Post by Sixth Man »

He was a great coach and he was a hard ass. He mentored coaches and taught the game. He won wherever he went and parents of non-starters did not like his methods. Sound familiar.
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Re: Coach Harry Welch formerly of Santa Margarita

Post by easycheesy »

Sixth Man wrote: Thu May 19, 2022 6:28 am He was a great coach and he was a hard ass. He mentored coaches and taught the game. He won wherever he went and parents of non-starters did not like his methods. Sound familiar.
I remember in 2008ish? Foothill high school a public school beat Santa Margarita by 5 points and everybody in the stadium was shocked. I did not think much of SM after that loss to Foothill. I remember SM always had 2-8 record. But when Harry Welch took over his first season at SM he went 9-3 or something crazy. Then the next year he went 13-2 and won state.
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Re: Coach Harry Welch formerly of Santa Margarita

Post by easycheesy »

It seems like some of the former SM supports make him sound he was like the devil walking around. I remember the admin and parents wanted him out as much as they wanted another state championship. When I talked to the dad's kid who played for Welch he told me calling Welch a "dick" was an understandment. And that the kids secretly called him, "Hitler Harry" but he thought he was a good coach
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Omar Bongo
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Re: Coach Harry Welch formerly of Santa Margarita

Post by Omar Bongo »

What makes someone a "good/great coach"? Just winning?

How was he regarded in things like being a role model and in the mentoring and development of young men?
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Re: Coach Harry Welch formerly of Santa Margarita

Post by insidetrinity »

Harry's a great guy. He's an old school hard ass coach who will get on you but he wasn't mean. I haven't spoken to him too recently but we still catch up from time to time even after he retired.
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Re: Coach Harry Welch formerly of Santa Margarita

Post by ventura »

Phenomenal coaching career.

Crespi grad ('63 - I think the first graduating class).

Pretty sure he was the defensive coordinator for the '73 team at Crespi that went undefeated in their first year in 4A, then the top division, until losing the championship to Los Altos. Student body about 600. Better times.

Mixed reviews on Welch, he was either loved or hated. My best friend at Crespi loved the guy. Smart; educated (GREAT English teacher).

He constantly beat teams with much more talent. There's a line in Remember the Titans "there's a fine line between tough and crazy" or something like that. Fans think Harry is tough, detractors think he's abusive (crazy).

Think he sorta wished he got the Crespi job before going to Canyon. Could be wrong; publics then offered much more financial security. If he'd stayed at Crespi when Butler left in '74....wow.

I think Servite's Thomas is in the Welch mode.
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Re: Coach Harry Welch formerly of Santa Margarita

Post by ventura »

Would love Luca's take. Is he still around?
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Re: Coach Harry Welch formerly of Santa Margarita

Post by easycheesy »

Hi ventura. What the SM Dad told me that most people don't know, is that those 2012 and 2013 SM teams with Harry Welch severely underperformed because of the whole SM faithful. The overbearing admins, the boosters, the alumuni, they were all breathing down Welch's neck and it really messed up Welch's ability to properly coach and organize those teams. It stressed Welch out and his cancer started to resurface, stressing him even more out. Nontheless, he was a great coach.

Rick Curtis took over after. Anyone got thoughts on Curtis? Lol
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Re: Coach Harry Welch formerly of Santa Margarita

Post by Sixth Man »

75-75 at Northwood. Not much since. Underwhelming hire at SM when it happened.
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Re: Coach Harry Welch formerly of Santa Margarita

Post by easycheesy »

Sixth Man wrote: Fri May 20, 2022 9:38 am 75-75 at Northwood. Not much since. Underwhelming hire at SM when it happened.
When he took over Santa Margarita, Harry Welch left behind and gifted him 3 incredibly talented classes. During his span at Santa Margarita he had 5 NFL players (Jeremy McNichols, Kyle Sweet, KJ Costello, Kekoa Crawford, Grant Calcaterra) and 30+ Division 1 football players. He went 11-11 with that talent. I remember Northwood usually had the stronger and faster kids compared to the rest of the Irvine schools. But when it was game time his teams ALWAYS underperformed
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Re: Coach Harry Welch formerly of Santa Margarita

Post by easycheesy »

What Harry Welch did now seems nothing compared in light to the whole Mater Dei situation: the "bodies" game, the sexual assault allegations now coming out recently, the 1st team Trinity League Mater Dei player hospitalizing a fellow student in Irvine, now the ex-principal Amanda Waterson describing her situation at MD. The Mater Dei faithful all rushed to defend, wait for more evidence, and stayed loyal to their coach and program.

Was Welch really that bad? I remember The SM faithful just abandoned him like a hot potato because he was too hard on his players, had an allegation of assault (as did Rollinson before), and his coaches grew pot.
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Re: Coach Harry Welch formerly of Santa Margarita

Post by BuckW »

Harry came from the Vince Lombardi school of coaching. Today’s pampered princesses can’t handle that style of coaching.
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Re: Coach Harry Welch formerly of Santa Margarita

Post by easycheesy »

BuckW wrote: Sat May 21, 2022 10:53 am Harry came from the Vince Lombardi school of coaching. Today’s pampered princesses can’t handle that style of coaching.
SM has no one to blame but themselves after what they did to Welch. I'm not saying the guy was perfect but with the whole MD Scandal going on, they seem to have just ridden the storm just fine. They're the consensus number 1 team in almost every poll I've seen and ESPN is covering their game. Also, I heard MD has an insane group of freshman coming in.
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Re: Coach Harry Welch formerly of Santa Margarita

Post by Al Koholik »

The first time I saw Harry was early 90’s at his Canyon Country practice in a park in Waikiki as they were on the same 3-game Cal vs. Hawaii bill as Edison.
Still a vivid memory today. The organization, tempo, discipline, detail… the megaphone. Very much like what I witnessed at a De La Salle practice some years later, minus the megaphone.
It was in that instance I knew why CC was so perpetually successful.
I can’t speak to his relationship to his players or what kind of role model he was (hard to imagine a disciplined family man as being a poor role model) but he was without a doubt “old school”. No different from Mr. Saban in Tuscaloosa. And after witnessing both in a practice environment, Welch was Saban with a megaphone.
Harry also smart enough to hire another old school coach, Marty Spaulding. The best HS OL coach in OC HS football history. In my humble opinion.
Sadly, in this age of the transient athlete and pussification of our youth, I imagine it would be hard for Harry, or someone similar, to hold onto kids/parents.
Would love to hear the opinions of guys like Johnny Stanton who played for him on the team that kicked our (Edison) arse in the playoffs that year.
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Re: Coach Harry Welch formerly of Santa Margarita

Post by frankieboy »

along those lines: found myself on a flight with a current OG for the Utes in the middle seat next to me. Said Whittingham was 100% old school. You didn't dare miss a class if you played for him. Total buy in from everyone involved in the program. Not surprising that they are successful year in, year out.
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Re: Coach Harry Welch formerly of Santa Margarita

Post by SunsetFan »

Harry had and most likely still has the inability to sleep and at best just nap (more like rest with eyes closed). I enjoy watching the best Southern California Teams win against other great programs. Santa Margarita football program was a group of players that was amazing to follow.
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Re: Coach Harry Welch formerly of Santa Margarita

Post by easycheesy »

SunsetFan wrote: Sun May 22, 2022 5:52 pm Harry had and most likely still has the inability to sleep and at best just nap (more like rest with eyes closed). I enjoy watching the best Southern California Teams win against other great programs. Santa Margarita football program was a group of players that was amazing to follow.
If Johnny Stanton didn't go down and Harry Welch had the full support of the admin in 2012 I still think they could have won a National championship
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Re: Coach Harry Welch formerly of Santa Margarita

Post by watchersince68 »

If if's and but's were candy and nuts
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