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Coach Luther L. Welsh
Thomson High School Head Coach - Retired

THOMSON, Ga. - Coach Luther L. Welsh, 79, died July 14, 2011, after a battle with cancer. He was the beloved husband of the late Anne Reed Welsh. Coach Welsh was raised on a farm outside Bishopville, S.C., and was the son of the late L. D. Welsh Jr. and the late Dorothy Josey Welsh. Following graduation in 1951 from Mayesville-Riverside High School, he earned a degree at Presbyterian College where he played baseball and football and received the Bob Waters Coaches Award. He began his teaching and coaching career in Warrenton in 1955 and then served in the U. S. Army. He returned to coaching in 1958 at Mayewood High School in South Carolina and then served as an assistant coach at Sumter (S.C.) High School, Cordele High School, and Albany High School. He resumed his head coaching career at Dougherty County High School from 1968 until 1982. After serving as an assistant coach at Warner Robins for one year, he served as Head Coach at Thomson High School, Camden County High School, Greene-Taliaferro High School, and Screven County High School, before returning to Thomson in 1999. He retired as Head Coach in Thomson after the 2010 season. Coach Welsh finished his career with a record of 333-181-6. He won 13 region titles, 11 of which were in Thomson. His 3 state titles in 1984, 1985, and 2002 were all in Thomson. Coach Welsh ranks fourth all time in victories among coaches in the state of Georgia. He received the 2010 Football Friday Night/ESPN Rise Coach of the Year Award. Thomson Rotary Club honored he and his wife, Anne, with the Paul Harris Fellow Award in 2011. He was a member of First United Methodist Church, Thomson. Funeral services were held at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 16, 2011, at the Thomson High School auditorium with Revs. John Barnes and Bernard Grant officiating. An additional funeral service was held at 4 p.m. Saturday, July 16, 2011, at Mount Zion Presbyterian Church, St. Charles (Bishopville), S.C. with the Rev. Richard Smith officiating. Burial followed in the church cemetery. Pallbearers were John Barnett, Ralph Starling, Bobby Thomas, Barry Hunt, Mark Daniel and Lee Hutto. Coach Welsh's coaching staff throughout his career served as honorary pallbearers. Survivors include his daughters, Andrea Welsh Gay of Thomson, and Lucia Welsh Coker of Turbeville, S.C.; grandchildren, Taylor Gay, Tanner Gay, Reed Coker, Zac Coker; sister, Carole Welsh Barrineau of Lake City, S.C; brothers, Josey D. Welsh and wife, Pat of Belvedere, S.C. and Thomas S. Welsh and wife, Judy, of Harbor Island, S.C. Memorials may be made to the First United Methodist Church, Thomson, Mount Zion Presbyterian Church in St. Charles, S.C., or to the Thomson Athletic Booster Club, Thomson. The family would like to extend thanks and appreciation to Dr. Mac Bowman, Dr. Hetal Thakore, Dr. Bob Lemley, Dr. Jamie Lemley, Dr. Cranford, Dr. Johns, Dr. Mark Keaton, Dr. Watts and to the third floor Heart and Vascular Staff: Dr. Connie Trello, Gabriella Ibanescu, Skip Nordeen, Alma Vidal, Jennifer Alvarez and Candy Russell. Beggs Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.

Web posted on Thursday, July 21, 2011

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