Fran Welch
Biographical details
Born(1895-08-21)August 21, 1895
Hartford, Kansas
DiedJune 19, 1970(1970-06-19) (aged 74)
Kansas City, Kansas
Playing career
Head coaching record
Accomplishments and honors
Kansas Sports Hall of Fame
NAIA Track & Field Hall of Fame

Francis George Welch (August 21, 1895 – June 19, 1970) was an American football player and coach, track and field coach, and college athletics administrator. He was of the first three coaches to be selected for the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Track and Field Hall of Fame and is a member of the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame.[1]

In 1960, Emporia State University named the football stadium Francis G. Welch Stadium to honor his legacy.[2]

Playing career

Welch enrolled in Kansas State Normal School (now Emporia State University) in 1914. Head football coach Homer Woodson Hargiss put him at quarterback where he remained until graduation four years later. He also displayed skill in baseball and basketball, earning 11 varsity letters before his graduation in 1918.[3]

Coaching career


Welch was the 13th head football coach for Emporia State University in Emporia, Kansas and he held that position for 24 seasons, from 1928 until 1954. Emporia State, like many schools, did not play football during World War II. His overall coaching record at Emporia State was 115–82–15.[4]

Welch led his team to a victory in the Missouri-Kansas Bowl with a 34–20 victory over Missouri State University on December 4, 1948 in Kansas City, Missouri. It was the only year the bowl game was played.[5] It was Emporia's first post-season football game.[4]

Welch (along with Washburn University coach Dick Godlove) also coached an "all-star" team made up of Kansas players to play a similar squad from Missouri[6] in the "Mo-Kan Bowl" all-star exhibition game.[7]

Track and field

Welch coached the track and field teams at Emporia as well. His teams were conference champs ten times, won four NAIA championships and placed second three times in 13 years of competition. Fran developed three NCAA individual champions and 13 individual NAIA champs.[3]

In 1960, Welch was selected to coach field event participants of the United States Women's Track and Field Team for the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome.

Personal life

Welch was awarded a Bachelor of Science in education in 1918 from Kansas Normal, then completed requirements for a degree in agriculture at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas. He served as a United States Army lieutenant in World War I[8] and took a leave of absence from teaching to serve in World War II as a captain and special services officer at Fort Riley.[9]

Head coaching record

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
Kansas State Teachers Yaps/Hornets (Central Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) (1927–1942)
1928 Kansas State Teachers 6–1–1
1929 Kansas State Teachers 6–2 5–1 1st
1930 Kansas State Teachers 4–2–3
1931 Kansas State Teachers 4–4–0
1932 Kansas State Teachers 2–6–1
1933 Kansas State Teachers 3–5–1
1934 Kansas State Teachers 7–2
1935 Kansas State Teachers 5–4
1936 Kansas State Teachers 6–4
1937 Kansas State Teachers 5–2–2
1938 Kansas State Teachers 3–6
1939 Kansas State Teachers 6–3
1940 Kansas State Teachers 6–2
1941 Kansas State Teachers 4–3–2
1942 Kansas State Teachers 3–4–1
Kansas State Teachers Hornets (Central Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) (1946–1954)
1946 Kansas State Teachers 4–5
1947 Kansas State Teachers 7–1–1 4–0–1 1st
1948 Kansas State Teachers 8–2 5–0 1st W Missouri-Kansas Bowl
1949 Kansas State Teachers 6–4
1950 Kansas State Teachers 6–2–1 5–0 1st
1951 Kansas State Teachers 5–3–1 5–0 T–1st
1952 Kansas State Teachers 7–3 5–1 1st
1953 Kansas State Teachers 2–5–1
1954 Kansas State Teachers 2–7
Kansas State Teachers: 115–82–15
Total: 115–82–15
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title
Indicates BCS bowl, Bowl Alliance or Bowl Coalition game.


  1. Kansas Sports Hall of Fame, Francis Welch
  2. ESU Facilities -- Welch Stadium
  3. 3.0 3.1 H. W. "Bill" Hargiss, notes on Fran Welch
  4. 4.0 4.1 Emporia State University 2007 Football Media Guide
  5. College Football Data Warehouse, Missouri-Kansas Bowl Games
  6. Barr scores lone touchdown as Missouri stars win 10-0, Southeast Missourian, December 9, 1946
  7. Stuber to help with Missouri, Southeast Missourian, November 29, 1946
  8. Emporia State University Spotlight, "A soldier in two wars, a teacher for five decades" (Summer 2003)
  9. Emporia Gazette, "F.G. (Fran) Welch Dies Following a Brief Sickness", 1970

External links

Template:Emporia State Hornets athletic director navbox Template:Emporia State Hornets football coach navbox Template:Footer USA Track & Field 1960 Summer Olympics

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