KAYSVILLE – When the final buzzer sounded in the Davis Darts’ semi-final loss to Lone Peak in boys’ basketball, it ended another successful season for Jay Welk and his team.
It also ended the coaching career of Welk, who decided to step down as head basketball coach of the Darts.
“I was 95 percent sure that I was going to step down after this season,” Welk said. “There may have been a couple of things that could have had me stay an extra year, but the timing is right. I’ve accomplished a lot of good things here and I feel like I’m leaving the program in a good place with good players.”
Welk had served as the boys’ basketball coach for the past 24 seasons. In that time he’s compiled a record of 351-199, a .638 winning percentage.
He also coached the Darts to several state 5A finals and semi-finals appearances. Davis placed second in 5A twice and appeared in the semi-finals three times, including this season.
Welk said his success has translated into other opportunities, which he is still looking at possibly doing, but he hasn’t decided what he’s going to do in the immediate future.
“Ultimately I wanted the decision (to step down) to be mine,” he said. “I didn’t want to leave it to someone else.”
His teams won 10 region titles with a total region record of 206-84.
Prior to becoming the coach at Davis, Welk also coached for two years at Weber High School.
He said he was thankful for the community support as well as the faculty and the staff at the school, which is difficult to find.
“When I came to Davis there was a lot of support, and that continued throughout my years coaching,” he said. “There is so much support here from the parents, faculty, the coaching staff, everyone. It’s really impressive to see the amount of support the school has, and you can see that in all of our games.”
Welk will remain as athletic director of the school, although it could change in the near future.
The school’s former principal, Dee Burton, stepped down earlier this week and named Rich Swanson to the same position Tuesday.
Swanson was the principal at Sunset Junior High School.
Welk said his future as athletic director may change depending on the decision of the new principal; however, he was very thankful for the support he received from everyone he’s known over the years.
“This is as good a high school as you’ll find to be a coach, in my opinion,” he said. “The new coach is going to be in a great place here.”
Welk graduated from Clearfield High School in 1976 and earned his bachelor’s degree from Weber State. He also has a masters degree from Utah State University.