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Published 10/31/2005

Owens Community College's Jim Welling Announces Retirement as Men's Basketball Head Coach

Head coach Jim Welling answers questions during his press conference announcing his retirement from the Owens Express men's basketball program. Owens Community College Express men's basketball head coach Jim Welling is announcing that the upcoming 2005-06 season will be his last, signaling an end to the most successful era in the program's history.

The Express men's basketball program begins its final season with Welling as head coach by entertaining Kellogg Community College on Friday, November 4. The game will begin at 6 p.m. in the College's Student Health and Activities Center.

"It has been a privilege to coach so many talented players and with such tremendous assistant coaches over the years," said Welling. "I also owe a debt of gratitude to my family, friends and Owens Community College and the support they have shown during my career."

Welling added, "The accomplishments that this program has achieved during the last 19 years are not just about victories. They are about helping our student-athletes develop lifelong skills that will enable them to succeed in their academic, athletic and career aspirations. I love teaching and working with young people and it feels great to make a difference in their lives."

Welling began his coaching career at Owens during the 1986-87 season. In his first year, he led the Express to 22 victories. Welling, whose career record now stands at 524-120, 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.

Owens' first-ever men's basketball head coach from 1966-70 Cot Marquette (left) discusses the program's success during the past 20 years under head coach Jim Welling.  Last year, Welling reached a milestone in his illustrious basketball career by earning victory No. 500 with an 81-71 win over Hillsborough Community College. At the age of 45, he was one of the youngest basketball coaches in NJCAA history ever to accomplish this feat.

Since 1986, Welling has sent 58 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 players.

"Owens Community College is extremely proud of Jim Welling and his commitment to the men's basketball program," said Dr. Bill Ivoska, Owens vice president of Student Services. "He is a class act and an outstanding leader and teacher both on and off the basketball court. Jim is one of most respected coaches within the area because of his integrity and values - a hallmark for his teams and program."

Although he is stepping down as head coach of men's basketball, Welling will continue to serve as the College's director of Student Enrichment and Athletics, as well as head coach of the new Express golf program.

Owens Community College is one of the fastest-growing higher educational institutions in Ohio. On the Toledo-area and Findlay-area campuses, Owens serves more than 45,000 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, Fine and Performing Arts, Health, Public Service, Skilled Trades, and 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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