, Salem, MA


September 2, 2010

Living Legend

Welch became an Ipswich institution in his 37 years on sidelines


In order to do that, you had to know the offense.

The intricate Delaware Wing-T, a formation predicated on deception, misdirection, fakes and the ability of the offensive linemen to trap or pull in order to draw the defense away from the football, became as much a part of Ipswich during the Welch years as clamming. The quarterback and his backfield mates (usually a halfback, fullback and wingback) would use various run fakes to keep opponents constantly guessing who was carrying the pigskin.

What it did was allow Ipswich's smaller, yet athletic linemen the necessary time to hold their blocks against bigger defenders and open up running lanes for their teammates to scamper through.

"Our offense was perfect for those kids. We ran the hell out of the ball, then played great defense," Welch said without a hint of braggadocio. "It was simple as that. They enjoyed playing that kind of football, and I enjoyed coaching them. Those kids would go to war with you."

That's not to say Welch couldn't change if the situation dictated. When the 6-foot-4 Budzinski, a fleet-footed runner (he was a champion in the 100 meters) with a rocket arm, was running the offense as QB from 1990-92, the head coach adjusted accordingly.

"My junior year, we had guys like Jon O'Flynn and Greg Brotherton who could really catch the ball and we probably threw the ball more than any of Jack's other teams," said Budzinski, who went on to a stellar career at Princeton University. He remains Ipswich's all-time leader in passing yards (2,402) and touchdown passes (24).

"But my senior year, we ran the ball all over the place. I think I ran more that season (808 yards, an IHS record for QBs) than most Ipswich quarterbacks ever had. But both methods worked, since we won the Super Bowl both years. Coach was great at identifying the strength of his teams."

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