Lowell girls basketball coach Matt Welsh said he's taking more time to be a husband and father after submitting his resignation to administration on Friday.
"When I took the job two years ago, we didn't have our third child, and she's almost 2 now," Welsh said. "We have three kids under the age of 15 at home, and I don't want to sound cliche, but I feel like I missed the oldest already growing up. I would say the majority of the reason is getting to spend a little more time at home."
Athletic director Patti McCormack said that Welsh's resignation will go to the school board on Thursday, after which a search will begin for the next coach.
Welsh was 29-12 in two years at Lowell, and the Red Devils played in the sectional title game each year. They also won two Northwest Crossroads Conference championships, sharing the title this season.
"I really enjoyed the girls there and enjoyed it for two years and how hard they worked for me, and what we were able to accomplish," Welsh said. "I think it takes a lot more time, that is difficult with almost all of them being three-sport athletes, how much is on their plate, my expectations and what we can get done. My schedule at home also doesn't allow me to give the program exactly what it needs right now, and what it needs is a revamping of the feeder program from third grade on up."
Welsh, who was an assistant for the Crown Point girls basketball team before spending two years as the head boys coach at South Newton, said that he was happy with the administration he worked with at Lowell.
"They gave me an opportunity to get back into the best situation," said Welsh, a teacher at Hanover Central Middle School. "They gave me an opportunity to coach hard-working girls."
NELSON STEPS DOWN AT WHEELER: Dustin Nelson has resigned after three seasons as Wheeler's girls basketball coach to focus on his new position as principal at Griffith Middle School, which he began in January.
"Collectively, we all thought it was probably too much to take on," Nelson said of doing both. "You have to give everything you have to be a good middle school principal, just as you do to be a good varsity girls basketball coach. I definitely don't want to shortchange either.
"I'm very fortunate and very thankful, as I was being at Wheeler. The bad part is leaving the girls, not seeing them on a regular basis. They were a blast to be around. I enjoyed representing them."
Nelson was 34-32 with the Bearcats, including an 8-12 record this season. Prior to Wheeler, he was a boys coach at Calumet and Morgan Township as well as the girls coach at Washington Township.
"Being a head coach was all I ever dreamed about," he said. "It's been such an integral part of my life, walking away from it is one of the most challenging things I've ever had to do. The challenges you face being an administrator are similar to those you face as a head coach. I feel the basketball court is an extension of the classroom. I enjoy both sides of it."
Wheeler athletic director Randy Stelter is accepting applications for the vacant position as well as two openings on the varsity football staff and one for junior varsity girls soccer coach.
Candidates may send their resumes regarding any of the coaching jobs to Randy Stelter, c/o Wheeler High School, 587 W 300 N, Valparaiso, IN 46385.
REGIONAL TICKETS ON SALE AT LAPORTE, LAKE CENTRAL: Tickets for Saturday's Class 4A Michigan City Regional are on sale at the LaPorte High School athletic office and at the Lake Central office. Tickets are $10. LaPorte will meet Lake Central at 10 a.m.
For tickets at L.C., enter through Door E at the south end of the building. Tickets are on sale from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday and Friday.
FLEMING HONORED: LaPorte senior Josh Fleming has been named the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association/Subway District 1 Player of the Week after leading the Slicers to the Class 4A Valparaiso Sectional title.
Fleming scored 80 points to go with 17 rebounds and 12 assists in three games, capped by a 32-point performance in the championship against Michigan City. Marquette's Richie Mitchell, Lake Central's Tye Wilburn and Bowman Academy's Anthony Cole were also nominated for the honor.