Hall of Fame football coach George Welsh, Virginia’s winningest coach of all time, has died at the age of 85.
Welsh became the UVA head coach in 1982, after spending nine seasons at Navy, and inherited a Cavalier team that went 1-10 in their previous season. Welsh turned around a Virginia football program that had just 2 winning seasons and 0 bowl game appearances in 29 years. In 1984, Welsh’s third year at the helm, he led the team to their first postseason game in the Peach Bowl, which also became the program’s first bowl victory.
From 1987 to 1999, Virginia won at least seven games every season, and achieved a program-high 10 wins in 1989. Virginia won a share of the ACC championship in 1989 and 1995 and qualified for bowl games 11 times over those 13 seasons. Virginia was also ranked first in the country in 1990, which remains the only time a football team from the state of Virginia has been ranked No. 1.
From 1987 to 1992, Virginia won five of six games against rival Virginia Tech, including a 38-0 shutout on November 23, 1991.
Welsh was named ACC Coach of the Year four times during his 19 years as Virginia’s head coach. In 2004, he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. Welsh retired following the conclusion of the 2000 season with a record of 134-86-3, which at the time was the most wins by any coach in ACC history.
Written by Matthew Newton