After spending more than half of his life on the sidelines, Weldon Nelms has coached his final high school football game. The 60-year-old Weatherford Kangaroos head coach announced his retirement at the end of this school year.
"Thirty seven years and 33 as a head coach has been great," Nelms said. "I have been surrounded by so many great coaches, kids, communities and school districts that I can's say thank you enough."
Nelms came to Weatherford four years ago after a successful career at Iowa Park and Wimberley that included a pair of state championships at the latter. In his four season leading the Kangaroos, Weatherford was 11-29 overall and 5-22 in district.
In Nelms' third season, the 2015 Kangaroos finished 5-5 overall and 3-4 in district to come within one victory of their first postseason appearance since 2007 and first winning season since 2005. It was their first non-losing campaign since 2009, when they also finished 5-5.
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But Nelms' health required some surgeries and challenged his ability to walk at times. He continued to coach, but said now is the time to begin focusing on other facets in his life, though his love for football will never go away.
"The recent surgeries and the grind is tough, and it is just time to move on," Nelms said."The Good Lord will take care of the next chapter in my life. At this time I'm not sure what is ahead, but I know it will be good."
For his career, Nelms posted a 248-140-3 record in 33 seasons. He led the Wimberley Texans to a Class 3A Division I state championship in 2005 and a 3A Division II title in 2011.
Nelms had 147 of his wins at Wimberley and is still extremely popular in the small town just outside of Austin. However, he said he and his family plan to stay in Weatherford for now.
"We have grandkids here and Granbury, so we will continue to be here, and Casey (his wife) will be teaching at Hall (Middle School)," he said.
At press time no information was available on the search for Nelms' replacement.