When the Brooklyn Nets decided to select former Nets great Jason Kidd as their new coach, they knowingly took a great risk. Kidd has zero coaching experience, but over the course of his 19-year NBA career, Kidd has garnered the respect of many NBA coaches and players. While filling out his coaching staff, Kidd decided to surround himself with experience–something that can be pivotal for the rookie head coach. One of his newly appointed assistant coaches is John Welch. Here is a short bio of Welch and what he brings to the table.
Welch’s collegiate playing career started at the University of Nevada at Reno. After three years at Nevada, Welch transferred to UNLV for his senior year. During his senior campaign, Welch helped the Rebels post a 33-5 record, including a Big West conference title and a NCAA Sweet 16 appearance.
After graduating from UNLV, Welch accepted a graduate assistant position at UNLV. During his three-year tenure as a graduate assistant, the Rebels made a Final Four appearance. During the offseason Welch would travel to New Zealand to play in their professional basketball league as a player and a coach. After finishing his time at UNLV, Welch joined Coach Seth Greenburg at Long Beach State as an assistant coach. With the help of Welch, Long Beach State made the NCAA tournament in 1995.
Welch accepted an assistant coaching job for Fresno State in 1995. In his seven years at Fresno State, Welch helped the Bulldogs record six straight 20-win seasons–including two straight NCAA Tournament appearances. While at Fresno State Welch worked his head coach at UNLV– Jerry Tarkanian, who was inducted into the basketball Hall of Fame in 2013.
After spending two years as an assistant and workout coach for the Memphis Grizzlies, Welch got his first big break as a NBA coach when George Karl decided to add him to the Nuggets coaching staff. In 2012, George Karl told the Denver Post, “Point guards — he (John Welch) loves point guards — he teaches pick-and-roll stuff, angles.”
In Brooklyn, Welch will be the “offensive head coach.” The Nets ranked 17th in the NBA in points per game. One of Welch’s new responsibilities will be to help the Nets become more efficient and potent as an offensive unit. Additionally, for the first time in his young NBA coaching career, Welch will be coaching an All-Star point guard. Can Welch help Deron Williams take his game to the next level? After two stagnant years in a row, a revived Williams can be a key for the Nets if they want to challenge the Miami Heat’s supremacy over the Eastern Conference.[slider_pro id="3"]