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Former Canyon football coach Harry Welch to retire after 2013

Welch has won state titles at three different schools

Posted: July 10, 2013 3:12 p.m.
Updated: July 10, 2013 3:12 p.m.
 

California prep coaching legend and former longtime Canyon High football coach Harry Welch is retiring.

The Santa Margarita High of Rancho Santa Margarita head coach and three-time state champion said the 2013 season will be his last as he is hanging it up after coaching for forty-plus years to spend more time with his family.

“After 2006, I thought this was it after we beat De La Salle. And then when we won the other state championship and another CIF championship at St. Margaret’s ... then had a great run at Santa Margarita where people treated me so well. It was really time for me to have time and celebrate my wife Cindee. I have five grandchildren that would knock your socks off with their beauty. I need to spend more time with my grandchildren, my children and my wife.”

The 68-year-old led Canyon football to its greatest heights in two stints.

He became the Cowboys head coach in 1982 and led the program to CIF-Southern Section division titles in 1983, 1984 and 1985 before resigning in 1994.

Welch took the program back over in 2001 and led the Cowboys to CIF-SS division titles in 2005 and 2006.

In 2006, the CIF reinstated its state championship games (which hadn’t been played since 1927) and the Cowboys pulled off a colossal upset over state No. 1 Concord De La Salle.

Welch then resigned in April 2007.

“The best years of my life were when I lived in the Santa Clarita Valley. My greatest achievements were at Canyon High School,” he said. “I know I had my times where lots of people we at odds with me. Now I want to give them a big hug.”

Welch coached small school St. Margaret’s in San Juan Capistrano and in three seasons won three CIF-SS division titles and won a Division IV state title in 2008.

He has been at Santa Margarita since 2010.

In 2011, his team won another division and state title.

However, after all the titles, a bout with prostate cancer and four vocal chord surgeries, Welch said he will coach this season and no more.

“I’m not looking. If a job opened at a high school, would I apply? No,” he said.

Yet he left the door open a crack, saying that he would listen to opportunities, including that of doing television work.

“I think that could be really exciting for me. I might be good at something like that,” said the longtime English teacher.

Santa Margarita is coming off a 9-3 season and opens 2013 on Aug. 30 at Bishop Amat.

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