Ithaca coach takes medical leave

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Mike Welch has been head coach at Ithaca since taking over for his mentor, Jim Butterfield, in 1994.
Ithaca athletics photo 

Ithaca football coach Mike Welch will be taking an indefinite leave of absence from his coaching duties while he undergoes and recovers from heart bypass surgery. The procedure will take place Tuesday, Oct. 16 at Rochester General Hospital. Assistant coach and defensive coordinator Mark McDonough will assume head coaching duties in Welch's absence.

Welch met with his staff and players Sunday to inform them about his upcoming surgery.

Ithaca athletic director Ken Kutler said, “I know that our players, coaches, staff and other members of the IC family and Ithaca community wish Coach Welch the best. We all look forward to his full recovery and return to Bomber football.”

Welch is in his 19th season as head coach of the Ithaca Bombers. Saturday's game against Buffalo State was his 200th game as head coach at Ithaca and his career record is 142-58, a .710 winning percentage. He ranks in the top-20 all-time in NCAA Division III football in wins and winning percentage.