“You just pay your dues and work your way on up,” Welsh said. “That is the way this business goes. There is no quick fix. You just put your time in. I think my time came and luckily I got a great situation. Some coaches will kill for this job and luckily I was chosen for it.”
Welsh believed this situation was “great” because of the number of talented athletes in the area and the convenience of having two gymnasiums.
Last season, Langston Hughes earned a 17-9 record under Darius Hodge, who will begin the 2012-13 season as the Hiram Hornets’ varsity basketball coach.
“Coach Hodge is a buddy of mine,” Welsh said. “I’ve known him since he was at Westlake. He called me and told me what was going down so I put my name in the hat. Some people put the word in for me and I was blessed to get this opportunity.”
And Welsh fully understands his role now that he is Hodges’ equal.
“Now, I go from being the suggestion maker to being the decision maker,” he said. “That is the main thing, putting it together the way I want to. Tweak some things I’ve used before and come up with some things I’ve already wanted to use and implement.”
The one thing Welsh plans to instill in his new players is focus on defense, which could lead to easy baskets.
“Everything is predicated on defense,” he said. “I need effort on defense. I need you knowing what you are supposed to do on defense. I need execution on defense because that allows us to get into transition.
“We get stops,” Welsh said. “We get rebounds then we can get out and run because I want to run. I think I got the athletes who are capable of running and like to run. Now, we just got to tune in defensively get everybody on the same page and that will allow us to do it.”
Welsh was also glad he was named coach in June so he could coach the Panthers in summer camp. He also felt fortunate for everything he learned at Lovejoy.
“Coach Francis is a great coach — a great people person who knows how to motivate and teach,” Welsh said.