SwimSwam

Tim Welsh to Coach Last Home Meet for Fighting Irish on Saturday at Noon

When Notre Dame hosts Cleveland State on Saturday at noon at the Rolfs Aquatic Center, it will be a rather emotional day for the Fighting Irish. That’s because it will be there turn at the “Senior Day” carousel, honoring those swimmers who are racing their last home meet for the team.

This meet will come with all of the usual bitter-sweet moments. It will see the ceremony of stars like Kelly Ryan for the women and Frank Dyer for the men, with Dyer being one of the most successful swimmers in program history.

In total, the graduations won’t take a big chunk out of the team’s core simply because they’re relatively small classes: just 5 women are seniors, and just 4 men.

But there will, however, be a noticeable gap for the next time we see the Irish race at Rolfs. That’s because the meet will be the final home meet for men’s team head coach Tim Welsh. He has been at Notre Dame since 1985, and announced in November that he would retire at the end of this season.

Welsh’s excursion into swimming was a unique one, as explained by this article from 1993 by the Philadelphia Inquirer. He was not a high school swimmer, and in fact has very little competitive background as a swimmer (he was a basketball player by trade). However, coaching swimming grew from a summer job, to something that got him through his postgraduate studies, into his profession. Things turned out pretty well for him.

The Welsh Files (Pending Final Three Meets of the Season)

  • Led Johns Hopkins to Division III National Championships in 1978 and 1979
  • 1979 NCAA Division III National Coach of the Year
  • 33 conference championships
  • 6-5-1 in his final season to bring career dual meet record to 325-179-1 (.645 winning percentage)
  • 11 All-American honors
  • 45 Big East event titles
  • 6 Big East Conference team championships, including in the team’s last year before joining the ACC this season

The Seniors

Women

  • Sarah Dotzel, Fly, York, PA/York Catholic
  • Christen McDonough, Breast, Charlotte, NC/Charlotte Catholic
  • Lauren Stauder, Breast, Carmel, IN/Carmel
  • Mikelle Masciantonio, Free/Back/IM, Center Valley, PA/Emmaus
  • Kelly Ryan, Back/Free, Hindsdale, IL/Fenwick

Men

  • Bertie Nel, Free, Tzaneen, South Africa/Ben Vorster
  • Frank Dyer, Free/Fly, Loudonville, NY/Shaker
  • Joshua Choi, Breast/IM, Folsom, CA/Vista del Lago
  • Colin Babcock, Breast/IM, Covington, LA/Saint Paul’s
  • Tim Welsh, Coach, Aldan, PA/Alden High/Providence College

Comments

  1. T Hill says:

    Best wishes to a great leader & person. We hope to see you still around & sharing your wisdom & positive attitude.

  2. Wally Morton says:

    It will be a privelage and an honor for Cleveland State University to be the opponent for Tim Welsh’s last home meet at the University of Notre Dame. Our two schools have had a wonderful relationship throughout his tenure as the Irish Head Coach. He is always a class act and understands the importance of sport as it relates to a young adults development for the rest of their life. His swimmers and divers have gone on their lives to be outstanding contributors to society. At the end of the day, that is what true winning is all about! Tim is an iconic figure in the sport of swimming. I know that he will continue his mission to make all of us better because of his presence. Congrats to my good friend Tim who I resect so very much. Coach Wally Morton

  3. Wally Morton says:

    It is a priveelage and an honor for Cleveland State Universiy to be the opponent for Tim Welsh’s last home meet as Head Coach of the University of Notre Dame. Our two schools have had a great relationship during his tenure for the Fighting Irish. He understands the role of college sport in establishing a behavioral pattern beneficial to succes in life. His swimmers and divers have gone on to be significant positive contributors to society. At the end of the day, that accomplishment is the true definition of winning. We wish you well dear friend as you continue your journey of service to others beyond self. Sincerely, Wally Morton, Head Swim Coach

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