2014 INDUCTEE - DANNY WELBORN
By Tyler Clifton
For the Decatur Daily
Danny Welborn is enjoying his retirement and was at a familiar place on a Saturday afternoon in late April watching one of his granddaughters play softball.
The former Danville basketball star will be hard pressed not to look back at how his career has come full circle with his induction into the Morgan County Sports Hall of Fame.
"It's a tremendous honor which was really unexpected," Welborn said. "There are so many fantastic coaches and athletes in Morgan County, and to be included with them is overwhelming to be honest."
The oldest of four boys, the 6-foot-3 Welborn was a standout for the Hawks under Wayne Bowling. He had a single-game high of 52 points against Ryan High before the 3-point line came into existence and led the state in scoring during the 1966-67 season with his 29.8-point average.
"Danny was a great person and the type of guy who loved the game and worked hard," Bowling said. "I never had any problems with him and couldn't keep him out of the gym. He would always want to stay and do extra work after practice and was one of the best offensive rebounders in my 37 years as a coach."
Welborn later played collegiately at Athens College (now Athens State University) before embarking on what turned into a 38-year coaching career. It began in the 1971-72 season at Meek High School, where two of his three teams won county championships. He coached 20 years at Good Hope and won three more county championships.
Welborn also spent the 15 years as head golf coach, where his teams went to the state tournament 13 straight years and were runners-up twice.
No matter how successful Welborn was as a coach, he will be remembered for one night as a player.
"I don't know if anyone loved the game more or was as dedicated to being good at it as I was," Welborn said. "It comes down to giving it 100 percent and having a supportive family when it comes to the hours you spend in the gym. In order to be successful, you've got to love the game. Playing for me led into coaching, and I think my competitive nature bled into my players a little bit."
It certainly made an impact on his own kids, as daughter Tammy West has three state championships on her resume at Cold Springs. Son John was recently named head coach at Class 5A West Point. The siblings will be on opposing benches in the fall. Rest assured their father will be in attendance.