Jill Welsh missed tennis in her year away from the Canal Winchester girls and boys programs, but she said she hadn’t considered coming out of retirement until recently.

“I wasn’t even thinking about doing it until one day when I got an email from (athletics director) Pat Durbin asking if I was ready to come out of retirement,” Welsh said. “I thought about it for a little bit and I decided it was a good time.”

Welsh’s hire as girls coach, which was announced June 5, is pending school board approval.

Welsh coached the girls team from 2015-18 and was assistant coach for the boys team from 2017-19 while her husband, Doug, was head coach. Doug Welsh was his wife’s assistant with the girls team and plans to resume that role.

Jill Welsh replaces Jason Snider, who stepped down because of increased work responsibilities.

“We took off last year because Doug had some health issues, our (twin) girls were at different schools (Elizabeth at Ashland University and Sara at Muskingum) and my mother, who is 94, had moved in with us,” Jill Welsh said. “Now, my girls are established at school, Doug is feeling good and my mother is doing well. And I missed the game. Coaching is something I like to do. Stepping away wasn’t easy, but I didn’t think I could give everything to the program when my family needed me. That wouldn’t have been fair to anybody.”

Several players are eligible to return for the Indians this fall, including seniors Erin Duckworth and Layla Fox and juniors Aliana Runyon, Lauren Snider and Grace Terflinger.

Last season, Duckworth usually played first singles while the other four concentrated on doubles as Canal Winchester went 6-12 overall and 2-3 in the OCC-Capital Division.

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