Al was born in Van Wert, Ohio. He graduated from Grover Hill High School, Indiana in 1966 and from Bethel College, Indiana in 1970.
Coach Welch was a longtime member of the Ohio High School Basketball Coaches Association, 1975-2008. His teams won 540 games. As a head coach for 33 years, he won 72.2% of those games. Wayne Trace High School under his tutelage won 22 Green Meadow titles, 18 sectional titles, 8 district titles, 2 regional runners-up, 4 regional titles, 3 State Final Four appearances (1987, 2001, 2008) and the State Title in 1991.
Al was an intense competitor and this flair to compete was passed on to his players. He was a unique coach from the standpoint that he spent his entire career coaching at the same high school. Al had the good fortune to coach his two sons. On his State Championship team in 1991, Brian was a senior and Robert was a sophomore. In the State Championship game Robert scored over 30 points and was named the MVP of the tournament.
In all his years in coaching his philosophy was: His teams wanted to force their opponents to play at Wayne Trace’s pace and make the game full court by pressuring the ball. They wanted to push the ball up court and force their opponents to play faster than they wanted.
In addition to basketball, Al was Head Track Coach for 30 years (over 300 career wins) and won four district titles, Cross Country Coach for nine years and won three regional titles and the State runner-up in 1991, Head Girl’s Golf Coach for 11 years and won eight sectional titles.
Coach Welch served as President of the Left-Handers Golf Association and is a member of Tau Kappa Epsilon. Their family belongs to the Latty United Methodist Church. Al and his wife, Jill, had four children: Brian, Robert (wife Jacque), Courtney, and the late Amy Lynn. They are the happy grandparents of Dylan, Jalen, Adia, Katelyn, Kyra, Kaiven and Keaton.