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Former Virginia head coach George Welsh passes away at 85

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The College Football Hall of Famer roved the sidelines in Charlottesville from 1982-2000.

Virginia Cavaliers v Maryland Terrapins Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

Former Virginia Football and College Football Hall of Fame head coach George Welsh passed away at the age of 85. According to the release from Virginia Sports, Coach Welsh passed while surrounded by family on January 2nd.

Welsh was the head coach of the Cavaliers from 1982-2000, amassing a record of 134-86-3. He led the Wahoos to a first place tie in the ACC twice (1989, 1995), and had a winning record in 16 of 19 seasons in Charlottesville. Four times, the Cavaliers won nine games under Welsh, and the Hoos’ 10-win season in 1989 set a record for Virginia. At the time of his retirement in 2000, Welsh was the winningest coach in ACC history (FSU’s Bobby Bowden would later pass him).

His time in Charlottesville was highlighted with major milestones. In 1990, the Cavaliers would reach No. 1 in the polls. In 1991, Welsh was the Bobby Dodd Award winner, given to the national coach of the year. In 1995, the Cavaliers became the first team to beat FSU in ACC play.

Before coming to Virginia, Welsh was the head coach of the Navy Midshipmen where he went 55-46-1 in nine seasons. When the Cavaliers faced the Midshipmen in the 2017 Military Bowl, Virginia honored his connection to the two schools with a helmet sticker.

Welsh was named to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2004 and the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame in 2009. On Grounds, the new Virginia Football practice facility was named after Welsh, and you can drive George Welsh Way to get to Scott Stadium.

As a player at the Naval Academy, Welsh finished third in Heisman voting and was a first-team All-American quarterback in 1955. He served as a Naval Officer before returning to the world of football as an assistant at Penn State in 1963.

Coach Welsh is survived by his four children.