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Longtime boys hockey coach Russ Welch to retire from coaching

Longtime Hastings High School boys hockey coach Russ Welch has decided to retire from coaching.

He has been the head coach at Hastings for the past 21 years.

“It’s just time,” Welch said. “I’ve been thinking about it for quite a while. The timing just seemed right. There’s nothing major – just a lot of little things. It was just time to go.”

Welch has coached for a total of 34 years, including 31 as a head coach. He previously coached at South St. Paul.

“I’ll miss being around the kids every day,” he said. “The Xs and Os. The competition. The locker room. The bantering back and forth. I’m going to miss all of that.”

Among the major highlights of his career was when his son Dan scored a game-winning goal in the 1999 state tournament with 0.2 seconds remaining on the clock.

“That was pretty magical,” Welch said. “That was a major highlight.”

Welch will continue to teach in the district.