Fifteen years after leading Woodside (Newport News, Va.) to its second consecutive state championship, Stefan Welsh is back to try and do it again; this time as the head basketball coach. “It’s a dream job for me,” said Welsh, who officially became the Wolverines’ head coach Tuesday morning. “It’s home and I’ve got so many great memories from my playing days here. For me, being the head coach at Woodside is like what Kentucky means to Coach (John) Calipari, what Duke means to Coach (Mike) Krzyzewski, what Alabama means to Coach (Nick) Saban… I want to be here for the long haul.”

Also, like the three coaching legends, Welsh, who played at Arkansas from 2006-10, said he wants to compete for titles and bring the Wolverines back to national prominence. “That’s the immediate goal,” said Welsh, who averaged 19 points, six rebounds and seven rebounds a game during the Wolverines back-to-back state title runs in 2004 and 2005. “When I was there the mindset from day one was to win a state title and I want to bring that back. Woodside is one of the premiere jobs in the state, we’ve got great resources and I’m confident that we can be a national brand.”

Still, while his goal is to bring home championship hardware, Welsh said “equally important” is building players that will be successful long after their playing days at Woodside. “I want these young guys to succeed, period,” said Welsh, who is currently serving as assistant coach for Boo Williams (Va.) in the Nike EYBL. “I take my job as a leader and role model very seriously because I want them to be respectable you men in the classroom and in the community. There are so many lessons you can learn about responsibility and accountability that you can apply to life in this game. I’m just excited to get started. It literally gives me chills to be back at Woodside’s gym coaching.”