July 5, 2006
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Notre Dame director of athletics Kevin White has recently announced the signing of a contract extension for Fighting Irish men’s swimming and diving head coach Tim Welsh. Welsh, who will be entering his 22nd year at Notre Dame this upcoming season, has guided the Irish to back-to-back BIG EAST Conference titles.
Welsh owns an overall dual-meet record of 179-94 during his Notre Dame tenure as the men’s coach, which began in 1985. He also served as the women’s head coach for the Irish from 1985-95, recording a 93-51 mark. The two-time BIG EAST Coach of the Year will be entering his 29th season as a head coach this fall.
He has led the Irish men to double-digit dual-meet win seasons 10 times, including the past two seasons en route to BIG EAST championships. All of the school records have been established several times under his watch and the Fighting Irish have appeared in the top-20 of the College Swim Coaches Association of American dual-meet rankings over the past two years.
“I am very excited to have this extension,” states Welsh. “The last few years have seen us approach the dream vision that we’ve had for Notre Dame men’s swimming for all of these years. We are really excited about the chance to continue working on the progress of the team. We are also looking forward to working harder than ever over these next few years.”
Notre Dame has sent 13 student-athletes (11 women, 2 men) to the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championship under his watch, including two over the past two seasons. Welsh has also mentored several BIG EAST champions and school record-holders. The future only seems to be getting brighter as Welsh, along with assistant coach Matt Tallman, continue to bring in top talent that have their sights focused on more hardware.
Not only have the Irish experienced success in the pool under Welsh’s reign, they have also excelled in the classroom. Notre Dame has consistently ranked in the top-20 nationally for semester grade-point average among men’s swimming and diving teams. The Irish posted the nation’s top semester GPA among those teams in the spring of 1999 with a 3.352 average.
“Tim has taken the men’s swimming and diving program here at Notre Dame to new heights,” states White. “Winning back-to-back BIG EAST championships and sending student-athletes to the NCAAs has solidified this program nationally. In addition to guiding his teams to success in the pool, they have also excelled in the classroom. We are looking forward to the team’s continued success in the BIG EAST and on the national level in the years to come.”
Welsh, a 1966 graduate of Providence College, was previously head coach of both the men’s and women’s teams at Johns Hopkins from 1977-84, leading the Blue Jays to NCAA Division III titles in 1978 and ’79 on the men’s side. He was named the National Coach of the Year in ’79 for his efforts. In 2004, Welsh received the prestigious Ousley Award for his distinguished service to the American Swimming Coaches Association.