Timothy F. Welsh
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Timothy Francis Welsh, 76, of South Bend passed away at home with his wife and sons on June 2, 2021. His death followed a year-long battle with pancreatic cancer. A beloved husband, father, grandfather, he was a coach and mentor to hundreds of athletes. He is survived by his wife Jackie Haywood; his sons, Dr. Timothy J. Welsh (Lindsay Weidman) of New Orleans, LA and Dr. John A. Welsh (Dr. Alison Atkins) of Winston-Salem, NC; two granddaughters, Clara and Delia; three sisters, Barbara Dawson (Phil) of Drexel Hill, PA, Sally Beech of Boston, MA, and Virginia Tanner (Dane) of Downingtown, PA; and his brother, Lawrence Welsh (Carol) of Glen Mills, PA.
Tim was born October 29, 1944 in Schenectady, NY to the late Catherine (Nardini) and Charles Welsh. Tim graduated from Providence College and completed his Master's degree in English at the University of Virginia. He met his wife, Jackie, while teaching at Winthrop College in Rock Hill, SC and the two were married on March 1, 1969 in Belmont, NC. Soon after, he began his coaching career while attending Syracuse University. He took his first head coaching position at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD, where his two sons were born. In 1985, he became the head men's and women's swimming coach at the University of Notre Dame. Tim coached both teams until 1995, when the program split. He continued as the men's coach until he retired in 2014 and returned to coach the women's team on an interim basis for the 2014 season.
One of the longest tenured National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) coaches in history, Tim made a profound impact on the Notre Dame swimming program, the University, and the sport of swimming. Under his guidance, the Fighting Irish captured the first men's BIG EAST title in 2005, and repeated the feat five more times during his career. Tim's swimmers set more than 200 University records, earned the University's first invitations to the NCAA Championship meet and its first All-American honors, and swam at the Olympic Games. Tim also co-founded the Irish Aquatics Swim Club. The Notre Dame Swim & Dive Team Room is named in his honor, and bears his motto: The purpose of Notre Dame Swimming is to pursue--and achieve--athletic excellence with self-discipline and love for one another.
In 2009, Notre Dame gave Tim its Presidential Achievement Award, which honors the University employee who lives the University's mission and exemplifies the school's core values. He received an honorary monogram from Notre Dame's National Monogram Club and saw six of his swimmers garner the Byron V. Kanaley Award. The Monogram Club awarded Tim the 2019 Jesse Harper Award, which recognizes a member for commitment and involvement with the athletic department and the university as a whole.
Tim was honored for his special service to the sport of swimming with the American Swimming Coaches Association's (ASCA) distinguished Ousley Service Award in 2004 and served as ASCA president from 2009 to 2011. The College Swimming Coaches Association of America's (CSCAA) named Tim to their Board of Directors in 2009 and recognized his contribution to the sport with the Richard E. Steadman Award in 1993, the National Collegiate and Scholastic Swimming Trophy--the CSCAA's highest honor--in 2014, the Franklin Award in 2019, and the Distinguished Service Award for his 35 years of service in college coaching.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 3:30 p.m. Monday, June 7th in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, University of Notre Dame. Committal services and burial will follow in Cedar Grove Cemetery, Notre Dame. The family will receive friends from 4:00 until 7:00 p.m. Sunday, June 6th in the Palmer Funeral Home - Welsheimer North Chapel, 17033 Cleveland Rd., South Bend where a parish rosary will be prayed at 4:00.
Memorial contributions in Tim's name may be made to the University of Notre Dame (Rockne Fund or Financial Aid designation), Providence College Swimming (c/o Head Coach John O'Neill, 1 Cunningham Square, Providence College, RI, 02918), or Swim Across America. Family and friends may leave email condolences at www.palmerfuneralhomes.com.