While watching KWTX this week, you might have noticed a couple of things. Yes, I was tired on Sunday. Not my fault. I stood in a wedding in Houston the night before and thanks to William Willett's bright idea in 1905 (see Brady's blog), I had to drive back to Waco with one less hour of sleep and a sore ankle...that Cupid Shuffle is dangerous.
You uber-attentive blogadiers and channel 10 viewers also probably caught on to the fact that we are spotlighting the city of Copperas Cove during our newscasts.
As a part of the "Our Town" coverage, I had the opportunity to spend some time with Copperas Cove High School's head football coach Jack Welch. His business card says "head coach/athletic director", but spend a little time with him and you will quickly learn he's much more than that.
Welch was the youngest head coach in the state of Texas when he landed his first high school job at Santo in 1980. But the native of Big Spring was making noise long before that. Literally.
Welch was a musical prodigy while growing up in the 60s, and his talent on the drums put him on stage with Kansas, the Drifters, Grand Funk Railroad, and Archie Bell and the Drells.
He decided change his instrument of choice though, as he gave up the drums and picked up a whistle. Welch's coaching career took him to West Texas State, Kansas Wesleyan University, Fort Scott Community College, and Louisiana Tech before his arrival at Copperas Cove in 1994.
The Dawgs had never won 10 games in a season prior to the Welch era. Cove has seven 10-win seasons in 14 years under Welch.
Welch has won more games the last two years than the program did during the entire decade of the 1980s.
I almost forgot to tell you that Welch was once a Golden Gloves boxer, and fought for Team Texas. (Are you still wondering why I'm saying so many nice things about the guy?)
During our visit, Coach Welch told me he is working on a book. He originally planned on writing about his tenure and turn-around during 14 years at Cove...but he doesn't think there are enough trees in the Piney Woods to print all of those pages. So he's decided to focus on the 2007 Dawgs team. The squad that marched back to the state championship game, even though it wasn't expected to do much of anything after losing in the Class 4A title game in 2006, then losing a large crop of seniors to graduation. Welch hopes the book will hit shelves this summer.
If you can't wait that long, or can't read...tune in tonight at 10pm for my feature story on Jack Welch.
Nick Saban told me once...well, Saban told me and my camera, and my microphone and others' cameras and microphones a lot of things, and one or two or twelve of those things might have been lies. So, take this for what it's worth...
Saban said the key to a happy life as a coach is a good wife, a good dog, and a good quarterback. Jack Welch told me he's had all three of those things in his life...and after talking to him, he's got a good wife, a good dog, a good quarterback, and a GREAT story to tell.