COPPERAS COVE, Texas (KWTX) Jack Welch, who led the Copperas Cove High School team to two state championship games and compiled a 193-84-1 record over the course of more than two decades has retired.
The Copperas Cove School Board approved a resignation and retirement agreement with the longtime high school head football coach and athletic director early Tuesday afternoon following a closed-door meeting.
School board members declined to comment after the meeting, but released a statement in which they said the district "will immediately begin the process of hiring a new athletic director."
The board also released a letter Welch wrote to the “Bulldawg Nation” in which he said he reached the decision to retire “after much prayer and reflection.”
“It is extremely rare for a coach to stay in one-place for twenty-four years. I am deeply grateful to the community for the outstanding support, our coaches for their dedication and friendship and all of the student-athletes from the past to the present for making this job my Mayberry,” Welch wrote, making a reference to the popular “Andy Griffith Show.”
“’Mayberry’ was a great television show and had a remarkable run, but it came to an end,” he wrote.
“Now, we can all enjoy the re-runs,” he said.
Welch’s retirement stunned some of the residents who attended the meeting Tuesday including former City Councilman Mark Peterson.
"They had a hard decision to make it was the correct decision to make,” Peterson said.
"We really don't know the reason behind his decision to resign I’m sure he had a very good reason to do so,” he said.
The district had been mum on Welch’s status and Welch has not responded to calls and texts from KWTX.
Spring football practice was canceled earlier in the year after the departure of several assistant coaches, but the sources say Welch hasn’t been at work for nearly two weeks.
Since 1994, Welch compiled a 193-84-1 record at Copperas Cove that included 12 playoff appearances and two Texas Class 4A State championship appearances.
Cove lost to Lamar Consolidated 20-14 in the championship game in 2007 and lost to San Antonio Alamo Heights 40-28 in the 2006 4A Division 1 final.
He’s coached such players as Baylor University’s first Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III and former NFL star Charles “Peanut” Tillman.
Welch coached from 1985 to 1986 at Kansas Wesleyan University in Salina, Kan., and his career also included stings at West Texas State University, Fort Scott Community College and Louisiana Tech University.