Brothers turned coaches shaping history at Ashley Ridge
SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCIV) For Ashley Ridge head basketball coach Brian Welch, it really is amazing how time flies.
Five years ago he was starting a program from scratch, from the ground up. Many of the players available to the upstart school and program were eighth graders.
Welch took what he had, molded them and now those eighth graders from five years ago are graduating.
"It's exciting in a way, it's sad in a way, but it is all a journey and that is what it is all about. These kids have been on a long part of the journey with us," said Welch.
Brian Welch is a coach with a vision and he's stuck to his vision since the day he took over the Swamp Foxes.
"I needed to bring someone I could trust. Someone that had the same vision to make kids better and compete. That was a big part in bringing my brother along as my right hand man and assistant," said Welch.
"He said, 'This is the place I'm taking a head coaching job but I'm only coming if you come with me,'" said Matt Welch, Brian's younger brother by 2.5 years.
Matt was just graduating college five years ago, and his brother's offer was an opportunity he couldn't pass up -- coaching alongside the big brother he had always looked up to.
"Where we're from, it is not allowed. We never thought about it too hard. We came to South Carolina where it was allowed, it really opened our eyes. We were thrilled with it," said Matt.
For five years now, these brothers have been side by side, on the bench and in practice, at home and on the court.
"We treat players as if they're our own sons. We don't have kids ourselves," said Matt.
Brian has maintained since the beginning that the two personalities have worked perfectly together to benefit the players.
"We have the same mission and two different ways of getting there. It helps the kids. We don't agree on everything, we challenge each other and it makes us better coaches," he said.
The brotherly bond is making memories for a lifetime. There is no end in sight for this tag team, but if a head coaching opportunity came up for the younger Welch, it's something that both would be interested in.
"I'd love to be the first name on his resume because someone would be getting one heck of a coach," said Brian.
The sons of a basketball coach in Atlanta are keeping basketball -- and coaching -- in the family.