According to former University of Akron football coach Jim Dennison, Jim Welling was one of the best interior defensive lineman to wear the Blue and Gold. Was a three-sport athlete at Kenmore High School - football, golf and swimming, earning a scholarship to the University of Akron upon graduation in 1963. Made immediate hit as a freshman, starting at middle guard and for the next four years was a mainstay at that position, playing all 36 games. In his sophomore year he was named honorable mention All-Ohio Conference, the last year before UA went independent. The Akron Touchdown Club recognized Welling in both his junior and senior years as the Zips Most Valuable Lineman, the only repeat winner in Zips history. After his playing days were over, he stayed on as a graduate assistant coach for one year, then joined the coaching staff at Coventry High School. He served as an assistant coach for two years before becoming head coach in 1971. His 1973 team posted a 7-2-1 season, the best record in the past 20 years. The next year when the school needed a swim coach, he stepped down from the gridiron to take on the task. He posted a 10-1 season in the program's last year of existence.