After two premierships and one state title, this Ipswich Grammar basketball coach has decided to step away with an iconic Old Boy to replace him.
After two premierships and one state title, this Ipswich Grammar basketball coach has decided to step away with an iconic Old Boy to replace him.

Legendary basketball coach calls time after 14 years

The man who helped rebuild Ipswich Grammar back into a GPS basketball powerhouse has called time on his career as the school's head coach.

Michael Wellings steps away from the role after 14 years at the helm - a tenure which included two GPS premierships in 2015 and 2018 as well as the school's one and only state championship in 2014.

The Rockhampton product, who took over in 2007 and played QBL for the Ipswich Force, said he had made the decision to spend more time with his family.

"It was a tough decision," Wellings said.

Michael Wellings steps away from Ipswich Grammar School GPS coaching role after 14 years.
Michael Wellings steps away from Ipswich Grammar School GPS coaching role after 14 years.

"It came down to my No. 1 priority which are my two sons Charlie and Leyton.

"In 2019, I was on my way to Brisbane State High for a GPS fixture when my phone rang, Charlie had scored his first goal in soccer, right then, I thought I don't want to miss these moments anymore.

"I now get the opportunity to coach their teams and watch them grow and enjoy sport as much as I have. My father didn't miss any of my fixtures growing up and that is a memory that I still have today.

"I honestly can say that I cherished this position, when I first took the job I was still playing in the QBL, when my career ended playing wise, I was able to pass my love of the game onto these great kids."

 

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Wellings said he definitely felt like his time in charge of the IGS program was a success.

"When I first took over the goal every year with GPS for me was top three," he said.

"Winning premierships in GPS is so hard, you just need everything to go right, but when you get them it is very fulfilling.

"During my tenure we got top three 11 times, won two GPS premierships as well as two bronze medals and a gold medal at state championships in 2014.

"As far as highlights, both GPS premierships are hard to top, they are both special.

"The 2015 team was amazing, guys like Verle (Williams) and Marty (Leahy) were just amazing players but also so great to coach and so passionate about the school."

Ipswich Force NBL1 captain and new Ipswich Grammar School coach Jason Ralph. Picture: Megan Low
Ipswich Force NBL1 captain and new Ipswich Grammar School coach Jason Ralph. Picture: Megan Low

One of the fan favourites of the IGS basketball program in Old Boy Jason Ralph will replace Wellings, who said the team was in great hands.

"I have known Jason for a very long time. I remember him filling up water bottles for our QBL team," Wellings said.

"It has been so great watching him grow into a great person and a great coach.

"He is more than ready to step up, and I am looking forward to coming to games and cheering the boys on."

Wellings also said he wanted to thank everyone who supported him during his 14 years as coach.

"In particular current headmaster, Richard Morrison, former teacher and coach Michael Murray, as well as my wife Shannon, who always supported me through the ups and downs of every season," he said.

The 2021 GPS basketball season will tip-off in Term 3.

Originally published as Legendary GPS basketball coach calls time after 14 years


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