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Published: Saturday, 5/24/2008

Ex-Owens coach leaves Lake for City League

Welling Welling

Central Catholic announced the hiring of Jim Welling yesterday as its boys basketball coach.

Welling was the men's basketball coach at Owens Community College from 1984 to 2006, compiling a 550-127 record and guiding the Express to national titles in 1992 and 1993. He was twice named coach of the year by the National Junior College Athletic Association in Division II.

He was the boys basketball coach at Lake last season. The Flyers finished with a 4-17 record, but Welling still said it was tough to leave Lake.

"It is exciting, but going to Central is also bittersweet. It breaks my heart to leave Lake," Welling said yesterday. "I think I could have developed a good program there, and the teaching job at Walbridge Elementary was spectacular. I loved the kids there."

With most of Welling's coaching experience at the junior college level, he feels last year at Lake provided valuable experience for his next endeavor.

"I learned about how to handle kids, and how to handle parents," Welling said. "That wasn't much of a factor at Owens. I can take that to Central - what to do and what not to do."

And perhaps his coaching experience at Owens will be an asset with the Irish.

"I've seen several City League games over the years, but I've never been able to study [the league]," Welling said. "They have very good coaches, and it seems to me that anybody can beat anybody.

"I will have to learn their tendencies, and find out if I can get my old system [Owens] to work in the City League."

"I am honored to be given this opportunity to coach for the Fighting Irish. I look forward to working with the team as well as the faculty and staff at Central Catholic High School," Welling said.

"Jim Welling brings to Central Catholic basketball a certain credibility," Central Catholic athletic director Bill Axe said. "His record, his experience and his grasp of the Toledo community all add up to equal a coach that can impact immediately."

Former Central coach Paul Patterson resigned in April after five seasons. Patterson had a 65-40 record with the Irish, who reached the Division II district final last season and finished

14-9, losing to eventual state

runner-up Libbey.

Patterson will remain at the school as an assistant football coach and a math instructor.

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