CCISD board approves Welch resignation
By LYNETTE SOWELL
After a 37-minute executive session, the Copperas Cove Independent School District board of trustees voted unanimously to approve the resignation of Jack Welch, CCISD athletic director.
At the conclusion of the meeting, board president Joan Manning announced there was a written statement from the board, which was distributed by district communications director Wendy Sledd.
“CCISD Athletic Director Jack Welch has informed the Board of Trustees of his intent to retire after a long and successful career in the District. Coach Welch has submitted his resignation, effective May 1, 2018. The District will immediately begin the process of hiring a new Athletic Director,” the letter stated.
The letter also contained a brief statement from Welch, who said he decided to retire from CCISD “after much prayer and reflection.” He also thanked the school board, CCISD superintendent Joe Burns, along with the Copperas Cove community “for the support extended to all of our athletic programs over the years.”
Welch added that it is extremely rare for a coach to stay in one place for 24 years, and expressed his gratitude to the community for its outstanding support, to the coaches for their dedication and friendship, and all of the student athletes from the past to the present for making this job his “Mayberry.”
“Mayberry was a great television show and had a remarkable run but it even cane to an end. Now, we can call enjoy the re-runs. I will forever envision the re=runs of Copperas Cove football in my memories,” Welch stated.
Thursday’s meeting came after more than a week of speculation of Welch’s status with the district after reports emerged of Welch’s office being cleaned out as of April 17 and the locks reportedly changed.
The agenda for Thursday’s meeting stated that the board would “consider and take possible action to approve resignation and retirement agreement with athletic director.”
CCISD did not release any details of Welch’s retirement agreement, with Welch’s most recent 48-month administrative contract having begun in July 2017 and set to expire at the end of June 2021.
Welch’s career as head coach of the Copperas Cove Bulldawgs spawned a lineup of players who have gone pro to include 2011 Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III, Chicago Bears standout and 2013 Walter Payton Man of the Year Charles “Peanut” Tillman, Josh Boyce, Logan Brock, Brelan Chancellor, Vontez Duff, William Fields, Howard Hodges, T.J. Hollowell, James Ritchey, and Orlando Thomas.
Welch also founded the nonprofit America’s Drug Free Productions, along with C.H.A.M.P.S., which has held programs for students in CCISD. He also founded the C.H.A.M.P.S. Heart of Texas Bowl, or HOT Bowl, held the first Saturday of December for 17 years. The fate of the HOT Bowl is not known at this time.
At the conclusion of his statement, Welch said he looks forward to “exploring how I may continue to serve our students and community.”