Jump to navigation

Harry J. Welch

Not too many athletes can brag that they played football with two of the country’s top football programs, but Harry Welch can. A halfback who excelled on defense, Welch first attended the University of Notre Dame where he played on Coach Frank Leahy’s 1949 freshman football squad. However, he heeded the advice of his uncles in California to “Come West, Young Man,” and one year later Welch was enrolled at the University of Southern California. The Irish’s loss was the Trojan’s gain. The product of Kenmore High School went on to earn two letters as a defensive back with SC. His play and that of teammate Frank Gifford helped the Trojans win seven of 10 games in 1951. Welch then capped his collegiate career in grand fashion as SC compiled 10-1 campaign to capture the 1952 Pacific Coast Conference (PCC) title. It earned the Trojans a short trip to Pasadena for an encounter with Big Ten champion Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl. With one pass interception and a crucial fourth down pass break-up at the goal line with 24 seconds remaining, Welch helped the Trojans record a 7-0 victory. It was the PCC’s first win over a Big 10 team in the Rose Bowl classic. Welch was signed to an NFL contract by the green Bay Packers, but injuries to both ankles in training camp ended his professional football aspirations. Back in Akron, Welch was one of the top area amateur golfers throughout the 1960s and ‘70s. All told, he won 17 Akron District Golf Association events, including seven father-son championships with his dad, Howe, a 1964 SCSHOF inductee.

Inducted 1999 | Football