By Chris Schmidbauer, Sports Information Director
Toledo, OH -- The winningest coach in the history of the Owens Men's Basketball program, Jim Welling, has been inducted into the National Junior College Men's Basketball Coach's Association Hall of Fame .
Each year the NJCAA Men's Basketball Coaches Association selects three to five coaches, players or contributors that have exemplified a lifetime of excellence to both the NJCAA and the sport of basketball. Nominations are submitted by an online form, which the committee uses to choose which nominees to consider.
James "Jim" Welling served as the head men's basketball coach at Owens Community College from 1986 to 2006. During that time, he led the Express to a pair of National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division II national championships, seven Region XII tournament championships, eight Ohio Community College Athletic Conference (OCCAC) championships and nine OCCAC state tournament championships.
In his 20-year career, Welling compiled a 550-127 (.812) record. Aside from his NJCAA Division II national championships in 1991-92 and 1992-93, he also led Owens to a second-place finish at the tournament in 1993-94, a third-place finish in 1995-96 and a pair of fifth-place finishes in 1998-99 and 1999-2000.
During his time, Welling graduated 86 percent of his student-athletes and placed 76 student-athletes into NCAA Division I schools. He won at least 20 games in 19 of his 20 seasons, including 18 straight to finish his time at the college. Furthermore, he led the program to eight 30 win seasons.
Welling coached six players who were named the OCCAC player of the year, including two-time winner Jeff Massey in 1991-92 and 1992-93. Others include Roy Coleman (1989-90), Otis "Chip" Smith (1990-91), Feisal Crumby Jr. (1993-94), Monty Latimer (1996-97) and Jon Powell (1998-99). Of those players, Coleman, Massey, Crumby and Powell were named NJCAA First Team All-Americans. Smith was an NJCAA Second Team All-American. Welling also coached Jerry Wells and Joe Sheperd, who were named NJCAA Third Team All-Americans in 1995-96 and 1999-2000, respectively.
In addition to his players racking up individual accolades, Welling was named the NJCAA Division II coach of the year twice, the OCCAC coach of the year eight times and the Region XII coach of the year seven times.
Prior to his time as head coach at Owens, Welling served two seasons at the college as a men's basketball assistant coach from 1984-86. He was also a member of the Owens Technical College Trojans men's basketball team under head coach Dick Honner from 1977-79. He received an associate's degree in recreation from Owens, and he went on to earn a bachelor's degree from the University of Toledo in education with a specialization in physical education and health.
Following his time at Owens, Welling was the head coach of the Central Catholic High School boys basketball team in Toledo, Ohio from 2008-14. He led the team to its first city championship since 1968 (2010) and its first regional championship and OHSAA Final Four appearance since 1947 (2011). He also guided the team to Three Rivers Athletic Conference (TRAC) titles in 2012 and 2014, and he won five sectional championships before finishing with a career record of 111-30 (.787 winning percentage)
Jim Welling coached the Owens men's basketball program to 550 wins and a pair of national titles in his 20 seasons at the college.
Welling joins his former student-athlete Jeff Massey to be inducted into the NJCAA Men's Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame. Massey was a two-time All-American and national champion with Owens and left the school as the program's all-time leading scorer.
A native of Northwood, OH, Welling received an associate's degree from Owens before graduating from the University of Toledo.