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Published 11/9/2004

Owens Community College's Jim Welling Earns Career Basketball Victory 500

Owens Community College's Jim Welling Earns Career Basketball Victory 500 Owens Community College Head Coach Jim Welling reached a milestone in his illustrious basketball career by earning victory No. 500 with an 81-71 win over Hillsborough Community College. At age 45, he is one of the youngest basketball coaches in National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) history ever to accomplish this feat.

"It has been a privilege to coach so many talented players and with such tremendous assistant coaches over the years," said Welling. "The accomplishment is not about the wins. It's about helping our student-athletes develop lifelong skills that will enable them to succeed in their academic and athletic endeavors, as well as become leaders within their communities."

Welling began his coaching career at Owens Community College during the 1986-87 season. In his first year, he led the Express to 22 victories. Welling, whose career record now stands at 500-114, has recorded only one losing season during his 19-year tenure at Owens. He has led the Express to many notable achievements, including NJCAA Division II National Championships in 1992 and 1993. In addition, Owens has averaged 27 wins while Welling has served as Head Coach.

His squads have captured seven Great Lakes Region XII Championships, nine Ohio Community College Athletic Conference (OCCAC) State Tournament Championships and eight OCCAC Conference Championships. Welling has been named "Coach of the Year" five times by the OCCAC, seven times by Region XII and twice by the NJCAA Division II. During the 2000-01 season, he recorded his 400th coaching victory at Owens.

According to former Express student-athlete, Jeff Massey, Coach Welling has always placed the emphasis on his players rather than himself. "He really pushed me to work hard both in the classroom and on the basketball court," said Massey, who starred on Welling's NJCAA Division II National Championship teams in 1992 and 1993.

Massey added, "Coach Welling helped me grow and mature as an individual. I have a huge amount of respect for him as a person and the Owens men's basketball program." While at Owens, Massey was a two-time NJCAA Division II Player of the Year and later played for the Xavier University men's basketball team.

Since 1986, Welling has sent 57 players to NCAA Division I programs. Overall, 90 percent of his student-athletes have gone on to play intercollegiate basketball at four- year academic institutions. Most importantly, Welling's program has graduated 86 percent of his student-athletes.

"Owens Community College is extremely proud of Jim Welling and what his men's basketball program represents," said Dr. Bill Ivoska, Owens Vice President of Student Services. "Jim is an outstanding leader and teacher both on and off the basketball court and provides his student-athletes with the utmost amount of support and guidance, enabling them to achieve academic and athletic success."

Owens Community College is the fastest-growing higher educational institution in Northwest Ohio with 29 consecutive semesters of enrollment increases. On the Toledo- area and Findlay-area campuses, Owens serves more than 44,000 credit and non-credit students, making it the number one choice for new college students. Owens is committed to providing small classes, personal attention and unmatched affordability. Owens Community College offers over 130 program areas in Agriculture, Business, Health, Public Service, Skilled Trades, Industrial and Engineering Technologies. Owens students also can earn the first two years of a bachelor's degree with a smooth transfer to any area four-year college or university.


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