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Football: Harry Welch to retire after 2013 season at Santa Margarita [Updated]

Santa Margarita football coach Harry Welch plans to retire after the 2013 season.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Santa Margarita announced Monday in a news release that Harry Welch will retire as football coach at the end of the 2013 season. Welch will be finishing his fourth season as coach and 25th year as a head coach in the high school ranks and 42nd overall.

Welch is the only coach in California history to guide three different schools to CIF state championship bowl victories.

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Welch guided Santa Margarita to the Pac-5 Division championship two years ago. He has a 31-8 record with the Eagles.

“I’m looking forward to having some time with my wife, my daughters and my grandchildren,” said Welch, who’s 68. “My plans are to celebrate with the people of Santa Margarita and give them what I have to give and express my appreciation.”

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Welch, however, didn’t rule out a return to coaching. “I would never say never,” he said.

In an email to Santa Margarita parents, Principal Ray Dunne said, “Coach Welch has had a long and distinguished career achieving significant milestones not only in wins and championships, but very importantly in the way he has had a lasting influence on the lives of young men. We are very fortunate to have had Coach Welch at the helm of our football program.”

Eric.sondheimer@latimes.com

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