Luther Welsh

Local football legend Luther Welsh died Thursday morning. (Courtesy of Jim Wallace)

Timeline of Coach Luther's accomplishments at Thomson:

  • 2007 Region 3 Championship title
  • 2005 Region 3 Championship title
  • 2004 Region 3 Championship title
  • 2003 Region 3 Championship title
  • 2002 AAAA State Champions
    Defeated: Thomas County Central 42-27
  • 2002 Region 3 Championship title
  • 1993 Region 3 Championship title
  • 1990 Region 4 Championship title
  • 1989 Region 4 Championship title
  • 1988 Region 4 Championship title
  • 1985 Class AAA State Champions
    Defeated: Cedartown 27-7
  • 1985 Region 2 Championship title
  • 1984 Class AAA State Champions
    Defeated: Marist 27-17
  • 1984 Region 2 Championship title

MCDUFFIE COUNTY -- News 12 has confirmed former Thomson High School coach Luther Welsh has passed away.

McDuffie County Coroner Rusha Mack says Welsh died around 9:05 a.m. Thursday.

On Wednesday, he was airlifted to University Hospital after suffering from a condition called Ventral Tachycardia or V-Tach. Coach Welsh's family tells News 12 he had previous cardiac issues and Thursday they were told doctors do believe a V-Tach led a heart attack.

His death comes just a week after the passing of his wife.

Thomson High School football players were delivered the news this morning after practice. Head Coach Milan Turner asked the players to pray for the family.


Welsh spent parts of seven decades as a coach, winding them up at Thomson High School. He won 323 games in 43 seasons and brought three state championships and 11 regional titles to Thomson in 18 years.

This loss was felt among the coaches, including those who played for him like Assistant Coach Lee Hutto.

"I played for him for three years, I coached with him for five years, and he's been in my life for 24 years now. I got to know him when I was 13, and I'm 37 now," Hutto said.

Many people describe Coach Welsh as a mentor, including current head football coach, Milan Turner.

"As the days go forward -- as coach would want -- we want to continue to remember him and what he stood for: hard work, commitment, loyalty, passion and Thomson football," Turner said.

Jim LeBrun, superintendent of McDuffie County Schools issued this statement:
"Today, Thomson High School, McDuffie County and Georgia lost a true coaching legend with the passing of Coach Luther Welsh. Coach Welsh was a fixture on the sidelines for many years. He made winning become a habit for the Bulldogs and their fans. He raised the performance bar to a new level with high expectations the norm. Coach Luther Welsh and his wife, Ann, will long be remembered for more than just bringing a winning tradition to Thomson High School. They will always be remembered for the positive influences they made in the lives of so many young people. Thousands of individuals were touched by this committed duo over the years. Coach Welsh and Ann will be deeply missed. Our thoughts and prayers remain with their family."

The visitation for Coach Welsh will be at Beggs Funderal Home in Thomson on Friday from 6 to 9 p.m. A memorial service will be at the Thomson High auditorium Saturday at 11 a.m. Funeral services will take place Saturday at Mt. Zion Presbyterian Church in St. Charles, S.C.

We will continue to update you as we get more information.

To honor the life of Luther, we've begun collecting comments from viewers to create a memorial page in his honor.

Joyce A C Lewis:
A legend is gone and everyone from the Thomson Community will miss Coach Welch. This is a sad situation to lose both parents less than a week apart. My prayers are with the Welch Family.

Holly McNair:
Coach Welsh will live in our hearts forever he was the best coach Thomson had KEEP UR EYES ON UR DOGS COACH WE LOVE U

Ryan Chambers:
Coach is gone but his legend will never be forgotten i am proud to had him as my coach

Amanda Wilson:
Coach Welsh. God saw your broken heart so he whispered so sweetly in your ear "welcome my faithful servant come sing, shout and dance with your bride!" ~ Prayers sent all over the Thomson Bulldog's nation for family and friends who lost a ...wonderful Coach. Dont matter if you young or old. You are always a dawg! Thanks for all your many years of service that led Thomson to 3 State Championships and a lot of boys into men. lol as they always taught us in school! Sick-em Coach~ Rip Coach Welsh and Mrs. Anne

Jacqueline Wright:
My heart and prayers goes out to the Welsh family.

Billie Jean Portwood:
Coach Welsh was the BEST coach that Thomson Bulldogs will ever have...Ok Dogs lets make him prou

Currie Hulin:
My heart goes out to the Welsh family...He just couldn't live without her.....

Gina George:
i didnt know mr. or mrs. Welsh but i know what they have done. They were grate people and you could see there love for each other. He had a broken heart because of loosing his love. His work here is done and they are reunited once again. He... will be a angel watching over his loved ones. Loosing a parent is hard and no matter what people say will take the pain away. I know because i lost my mama march 7 of this year of lung cancer. She was only 45. Im still trying to deal with it by taking it one day at a time. Its easer said than done but yall will find a way to move forward and make them both proud. My thoughts are with the welsh family and my heart hurts for yall. Remember, you do not have to do this a lone. May god heal your heart and lift your spirits.

Cassey Hadden:
Such a sad day for all in Mcduffie County. Coach Welsh was a wonderful man, and a Great Coach. He will be truely missed by everyone in this community. My thoughts and prayers go out to all the family.. RIP Coach and Thanks for all you did for Thomson. Untill we meet again.. Go Dawgs!!!!!!

Stephanie Winfrey:
Coach Welsh will be missed. You can not talk Thomson Football and not mention Coach Welsh. He retired fulfilled because Thomson gave him the ultimate coach's gift an undefeated season. As sad as his passing is find comfort in knowing he and his wife are together again. Forever on earth and Forever in Heaven, now that is a Blessed life.

Mary Culpepper:
Prayers for the Welsh family. Honor the legend by naming the field after him, Welsh Field at the Brickyard.

Noreen Anderson:
There will never be another man like Coach Welsh. He was loved and respected by so many. It was so strange to see all these BIG football players always saying "Yes sir Coach" to this little man who was larger than life. No matter what he as...ked of those boys, they tried their hardest to deliver. He helped turn so many boys into young men, taught them life lessons and respect for others. Thoughts and prayers to the family. Coach was a good man who is now with Ms Ann once again. If God has a football team I know he is once again coaching.

To send us your thoughts on Coach Luther, please post them on our Facebook page or email us.

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Belinda Duke Location: Albany,Ga. on Jul 16, 2011 at 09:39 AM
    Coach Welch you know you will always be in our hearts. I hope Randy and Fly meet you at the Pearly Gates now you guys can play all the football you want.
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