CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WAVY) — Former University of Virginia head football coach George Welsh, who led the team to a No. 1 ranking in 1990, passed away this week at age 85.
The university announced Welsh’ passing Friday, saying he died peacefully in Charlottesville on Jan. 2 surrounded by his family.
Welsh coached for the Cavaliers for 19 years, before retiring with a career record of 134-86-3. When he took over the program in 1982, Virginia had only seen two winning seasons in the preceding 29 years.
From 1987 to 2000, Welsh led Virginia to a streak of 13 seasons with seven or more wins. That stretch included shared ACC titles in 1989 and 1995, and more than 10 bowl appearances.
The 1990 Virginia team was ranked No. 1 for two weeks in October.
Welsh was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2004, and the Virginia Football Hall of Fame in 2009. Virginia dedicated a new indoor practice facility after Welsh in 2013.
Current Virginia head coach Bronco Mendenhall offered his condolences to Welsh’s family in a tweet, saying Welsh “provided the model of success we are working hard to replicate.”
I am saddened to hear that Coach Welsh passed away this week. My condolences go out to his family. He was a true pioneer for UVA football and provided the model of success we are working hard to replicate. We will miss his frequent visits to the football offices.— Bronco Mendenhall (@UVACoachBronco) January 4, 2019
Welsh attended the United States Naval Academy from 1952 to 1955, and was the school’s head football coach from 1973 to 1981. He lead the Midshipmen to a 55-46-1 record.