Luther Welsh, athletic director and head football coach at Thomson High School, has decided to stay on "at least another year."
The 77-year-old coach Welsh said he feels relieved and looks forward to returning to lead the Bulldogs in their quest to once again become competitive in football. His Bulldogs finished with a dismal 2-8 record this past season -- his only losing season since being at Thomson.
"I had a heart-to-heart talk with the principal and school superintendent about two weeks ago and I told them then that I would come back for at least another year," Welsh said Wednesday.
"We talked about some issues and we reached some resolve."
Coach Welsh said he didn't wish to discuss what those issues were.
Actually, coach Welsh was asked to return to the position for another year by Principal Rudy Falana and School Superintendent Jim LeBrun on behalf of McDuffie County school board members, The McDuffie Mirror learned.
"I think it's wonderful that Luther is coming back to coach for another year," Mr. Falana said.
"He's proven he's a great coach through the years. He's only had one losing season in almost 20 years; I'd say his record speaks for itself."
Welsh's career coaching record is 324-178-6.
Mr. Falana said another reason for the football program's slump this past season was that Thomson played in one of the toughest regions (3-AAA) in the state.
Mr. LeBrun also is supportive of coach Welsh.
"I met with coach Welsh before Thanksgiving to let him know that the board and myself would like him to come back another year," Mr. LeBrun said. "The board and I believe that Luther Welsh is the right man for this job. We maintain confidence in his ability to get the Bulldogs back to a competitive level and hopefully championship caliber."
Three weeks ago, the legendary Georgia prep football coach said he wouldn't be making a decision about his immediate future until the Christmas break.
"I just decided to go ahead and make a decision and get it over with," coach Welsh said.
The head mentor said he expects his coaching staff to return with one exception.
Bobby Thomas, who had served as the Bulldogs' offensive coordinator, will not be returning, coach Welsh said.
"He (Thomas) owns a very successful business in Greene County and won't be able to help us anymore," coach Welsh said.
"We appreciate what he did to help our program,"
Thomas was a community volunteer coach and had several years of experience as a teacher and football coach at other schools in Georgia.