K:This is Tony Kalishman. I am at 5321, what is the address?
W:Northwest 102nd Place.
K:Interviewing Dr. Paula Welch for my Oral History class. It is
April 1st at approximately 6:35 p.m. and this is a test to
see if this works.
K:Okay, we are continuing and I might add that it is 1996. We
will start off. Tell me your full name, spell it and
W:Paula, my middle name is Dee [and] my last name [is] Welch.
K:Start with Dr. Proctor's favorite. Let us have your parents
W:My father's name is Paul William Welch and my mother's name is
Myrtle Isabel Welch. She likes to go by Isabel.
K:Are you named after your father?
W:Named after my dad.
K:Where did the Dee come from?
W:[After] my aunt Dee, her name was Demerius but they always
called her Dee, and I was born on her birthday. That is how
I got the middle name.
K:That is a great middle name. Where were you born?
W:I was born in Wildwood, New Jersey and the date was April the
K:How long did you live there?
W:I lived there for sixteen months and then I was taken to Miami,
Florida where I grew up.
K:So you do not remember much about Wildwood?
W:No, except for visits when I went back in the summers and just
a few other times.
K:Do you have relatives there?
W:I have cousins there now. My grandmother lived there and she
died several years ago, but I still have cousins there.
K:That is your mom or dad's side?
W:It is on my mother's side.
K:You moved to Miami. Let us see, let us start with all the
school you went through.
W:All right, I went to elementary school down there, I went to
Santa Clara Elementary School, just first grade. Then I
went to Hialeah Elementary two years and then I finished up
at Riverside Elementary. Then I went one year to Ada
Merritt Junior High School. Then I finished at Jackson High
School which was grades eight through twelve. I was there
five years and it was really a good experience because all
the students that were at the school, many of them lived in
the area and many of them started in the eighth grade and we
got to know each other. There were some that came in at
tenth grade but it was really nice to be in that environment
because we got to know each other very well. It was just
really kind of a nice time to be growing up in Miami.
K:Was it in [the] north, south, east, west [inaudible]
W:Jackson High School was located in what is called Allapattah,
it is in the northwest section.
K:Never heard of that and I have been to Miami.
W:The school was on Thirty-Six Street and Seventeenth Avenue
K:Is the neighborhood the same now as it was? Have you been
W:The neighborhood has changed. I have not been back in a long
time. The neighborhood has changed a great deal. It is now
mostly a predominately black area and to some extent,
hispanic. After I finished high school, my parents moved to
the Northeast part of Miami, just above Miami Shores. Then
they sold their house there and moved to Gainesville in
K:To be where you were?
W:Kind of to be close by, yes and Miami was changing a lot. The
drug trafficking has caused a lot of crime down there so
they decided to move to Gainesville.
K:Now we have established up to high school, obviously you did
something in your life besides just go to school. When you
were little, is that when you started playing sports?
W:I did not start playing organized sports until I was in the
eighth grade. I remember when I was in the seventh grade I
used to play just with friends in the neighborhood. Kind of
interesting, I used to play football and baseball, not
softball, but baseball when I was in fifth and sixth grade.
Then when I went to junior high school, seventh grade, I
did not like the coach that was there. She was always
screaming at people. I did not want to get screamed at so I
did not go out for sports. One of my aunt and uncles was
visiting in Miami and was just before I went to Jackson High
School and my aunt said that I was tall I should go out for
basketball. I did not even think much about going out for
sports until she said that. Well in the eighth grade I went
out for volleyball, so for five years I played four sports
in school. I played volleyball, then basketball and then
softball and then we had a badminton team. I played those
K:You had a lot of sports for your high school. Is that normal
W:Well for Dade County it was normal. There were a lot of very,
very good physical education programs in the whole city and
they had a pretty well organized program for sports for
girls. The boys programs were much better because they were
truly interscholastic. The girls programs were good, but
they were not really enough to suit the students that were
playing. We wanted to play more. We did not think that
there was enough. It had very few games and so a lot of us
played in city league competition.
K:Did you have few games because there were not other teams to
play or there was not a budget for them both or was it
W:Well, it was more of a philosophy of the day. They used to
have sports days and so you play intramurals at your school
and then you go someplace in the county and spend a whole
day playing basketball and that ended basketball season.
You really only played other schools on that one day. That
was the prevailing philosophy at the time. As kids we did
not have any other choice. We did choose to play in city
league. We heard that you were not supposed to do it, but
we did it anyway because we wanted to play more sports. We
played several games throughout the city of Miami and it was
K:You played one day and you played all the basketball
W:Yes, that was the old sports days which was all they had for
girls except for some of the other sports. They did have
interscholastic swimming and that was true throughout the
state. Of course, boys program was much, much more
extensive. It was as I said truly interscholastic they
played a lot of games in football, baseball and track,
K:They had real seasons.
W:Yes, they had real seasons, we did not.
K:Seems ironic because I thought that the women were supposed to
be fragile and could not handle and they played a lot in one
day. It seems that would hurt you more than playing one
game a bunch of different days.
W:Yes, that is a good point. Although they would only let you
play a certain number of quarter in basketball which was
just the way it was. We did not have much choice.
K:What year was this? [inaudible]
W:This was from 1955 through 1960.
K:Seems like a long, long time ago. So many things have changed.
W:That is right.
K:Did you get interested in the Olympics when you were in high
school or before?
W:When I was in high school one of my teachers, Don Holder had
been a member of the 1952 Olympic gymnastics team. I
remember on one occasion he started telling us about the
Olympic games and the opening ceremonies and I just thought
that sounded so interesting. I was just intrigued by it.
Then I remember when I was in the ninth grade, he was trying
to make a come back and make the 1956 team. They had some
fund raisers at the school and everything. He did not make
the 1956 team but I learned just a little bit more about the
Olympics. Then later on I heard about Wilma Rudolph
[American athlete] who ran in the Olympic games in Rome.
Then when I was at Florida State I remember writing a paper
on Varn Pierre de Couberton and it was just an interesting
topic that I was just enthralled with. Then I did a lot
more on it when I went to graduate school.
K:When did Wilma Rudolph run?
W:She ran in 1956 and 1960, those were her two Olympic years.
K:So, you were in your high school years so it was easy to be
captivated by her?
W:Yes, I did not hear much about her until 1960. I remember
getting a brochure. It was Kent Cigarettes, which is so
ironic today because we do not see tobacco companies
advertising for athletes. There was a nice brochure,
actually it was more like a small booklet. There were some
pictures of her and her records and so forth.
K:So you never got to see her on TV, not her or the Olympics at
all, did you?
W:No, I never saw her until much, much later. There was no real
television. I never saw it. The first that I remember was
1968, Mexico City. I remember hearing a little bit about
the Olympics in 1964, but the television that I saw was
K:Was there any way of seeing it, except maybe the newsreels at
W:The only thing that probably was available were maybe newsreels
at movies, and then perhaps a little bit of taped
television. As a kid I was not watching much news shows.
K:You were playing sports, you did not have time to watch them.
W:That is right.
K:When did your family get a TV?
W:My family got a television when I was nine.
K:You were nine?
W:Yes, so that would have been about early 1950s I guess.
K:That is pretty early compared to most of the country. How many
stations were there in Miami?
W:I remember growing up there was only one station, WTVJ Channel
4. I remember one of the shows that was on was Wednesday
night boxing, which I just thought was terrible. As a nine
year old kid or ten or whatever it was, I thought that was
terribly boring. I do remember watching I Love Lucy. I
thought that was a good show.
K:It was a good show. Alright, let us talk about your college
days. I hear you went to that bad school.
W:[laughter] The bad school as you refer to [it] is Florida State
University. It is where I got my undergraduate degree.
K:You went there in 1960?
W:I went there in 1960 and I finished in three and a half years.
I majored in physical education and health education. I
went to Miami and started teaching at Edison Park Elementary
School. I started teaching in January and then I finished
up that year, one more year. Then I went to Carrol City
High School for two years. In the meantime I was going to
George Peabody College for Teachers in Nashville which is
now part of Vanderbilt University. I majored in physical
education and psychology. I finished my master's degree in
1966 and I had also taken some courses at Barry University
in Miami, at that time it was Barry College. Then I went to
Kentucky and I taught two years at a small college,
Georgetown College, in Georgetown, Kentucky. Then I went to
Eastern Kentucky University and I was coaching basketball
there and then I went to the University of North Carolina at
Greensboro, that is where I did my doctoral work.
K:That is a lot at one time. Let us start at the beginning of
what you just said. Did you get a scholarship when you went
W:No, the only thing I got in the way of financial aid was a
student loan. There were no athletic scholarships at all
for girls. By the way, I did get most athletic when I was a
senior in high school which is kind of neat.
K:Name in the yearbook and everything?
W:Name in the yearbook, yes,yes.
K:I guess if you get twenty letters in high school you get the
most athletic. I think that is pretty impressive, you
playing four sports for five years. Some of us did not play
any sports at all. Did you play sports at all when you went
W:Well, when I was at Florida State I got involved in intermurall
sports]. They had a real big intramural program, but again
the women's program was very limited. We did play a few
schools on some occasions, but like most white institutions
around the country, there were very limited intercollegiate
competition for women. That did not come until much later
after I got out of school, so I just did not have the
K:What kind of sports did you play ?
W:I played volleyball, basketball, and badminton.
K:You still played badminton?
W:Still played badminton.
K:We do not even have badminton teams now, do they? high
W:Yes, they do. Oh, yes, in fact in Dade County they still have
big programs. When I was at Jackson High School our team
never lost. In fact the high school team never lost for
twenty-four straight years.
W:Twenty-four years, yes. It was a co-ed team. We had boys and
girls singles, boys and girls doubles and mixed doubles. We
just had a phenomenal team. Everybody was always afraid to
lose, so for twenty-four straight years they won.
K:Twenty-four years, that is amazing! That is a dynasty.
W: It was, it really was.
K:I guess to play on that badminton team you must have been
W:It was fun.
K:I guess so. You never lost! At FSU you said you were physical
education and health education. Why did you choose that?
W:When I was going to school there were not a lot of
opportunities for women. I decided however though that I
wanted to teach physical education. I decided that when I
was a freshman in high school and I wanted to coach. I did
not really think at that early time, when I was in high
school that I wanted to be a professor. By the time that I
was finishing up at Florida State I decided that I was going
to be a professor. Something that was really funny was my
friends were already calling me Dr. Welch [laughter] which I
thought was funny, I was finishing up at Florida State.
Every now and then I think about that, it is kind of
W:So anyway, I went on and finished up my doctorate.
K:You [inaudible much choice. Did you want to be a coach, was
there any particular reason or did that just kind of grow
W:I loved sports, just absolutely loved. Of course even though
they were not that extensive it was really, really important
to me. When I had free time I was out shooting baskets and
doing a lot of things with sports. I like the idea of
coaching. In fact, when I was coaching in Miami, I coached
volleyball, basketball, softball and badminton, I remember
going to the county championships for badminton. I looked
around the courts and there were five of my former teammates
who were coaching teams. I thought that was really kind of
neat. I really enjoyed it and was kind of lucky I guess.
People always give coaches credit for having good teams but
I think the credit should go to the players. I had some
good teams at Eastern Kentucky University and then I coached
at the University of Florida for two seasons.
K: we are getting to that, do not want to shut that off
because it is very important.
W:I guess we will talk about my master's degree now.
K:Yes, let us go on and talk about your master's and your high
school years. I never can quite understand this. When you
went to high school, whiling you were getting your master's
at George Peabody College in Nashville.
W:Yes, I was teaching in high school, right.
K:And Barry College which is Barry University now. You did this?
W:In the summers.
K:Did you do any correspondence?
W:No, well I started teaching in January of 1964 and then the
summer of 1964 I was in Nashville going to school. Then I
took some courses at night at Barry while I was teaching in
Miami. I went three summers and I took some courses at
Barry College and finished my master's degree. That was the
end of the summer of 1966.
K:You did it in two years? the summers?
W:Well, summers plus the courses that I took at Barry College
K:That is still pretty amazing, that is pretty fast. When you
were teaching in high school at that time, did you coach
W:Yes, I coached volleyball, basketball, softball, helped a
little bit with track and field and coached badminton.
K:You coached four and half sports and went to school at night.
W:Yes, but we were still in a situation that was not as extensive
as interscholastics are today. We still had the play day
program that I experienced when I first started teaching.
In other words we would have intramurals after school and
then we would have a sports day on a one day basis. It was
not like I was going to night games and so forth, so I could
take a class at night.
K:You could not have done it in today's environment ?
W:No, I could not have done it.
K:Not even one sport you would probably miss all the night games.
K:What was your first coaching experiences like?
W:At the high school level?
K:Yes, at the high school level. You coached intermural teams
before but it is a little different when you are playing on
W:Yes. The greatest memory I have is when I took my basketball
team, went over to Miami Beach High School for this sports
day. I had kicked two or three girls off the team for not
coming to practice because they were trying to play other
sports that were also practicing at the same time. So I
made this statement, if you do not come to practice you are
off the team. Well they did not go to practice so they were
off the team. I thought and I was telling everybody, well I
do not think we are going to do very well because I kicked
off a couple of my really good players. Low and behold we
won the county tournament over there in Miami Beach even
though I did not have the very best players. We won and it
was real exciting.
K:That is great to make a statement like that and have everything
turn out right.
W:You say things like that when you are young and experienced.
K:I get after twenty years. This was still in the
school for all white?
W:No, it was integrated then.
K:It was integrated then? Not trying to make this sound bad, was
that your first interaction with black people?
W:No, when I was growing up I did not go to school with them, but
my fathers family is from Tennessee so when I went up there
in the summers, I got to know some black people who worked
for some of my relatives. They had kids and I did not care
if they were black or white, they were my friends and I had
a good time with them.
K:Played with them?
W:Played with them and it was fun. Then when I started teaching
at Carrol City High School, it was a big high school and
there were five in the women's department and five in men's
department. We had a really, I think a neat department
because in the women's department we had me, who would be a
Protestant, we had a Catholic teacher, we had a Jewish
teacher, we had a Black teachers, and another kind of like
white Anglo-Saxon Protestant too. It was really neat and we
got along great. Nobody thought anything about having any
different religion, or being different races and it was fun.
K:Definitely unique for that time period too.
K:It seems like you when everybody else was kind of
W:Yes, we did. That is right. It was kind of a unique time but
we all got along very well and we had integrated classes.
We were all young and all enthusiastic and it really made a
big difference I think.
K:It sounds like it did. Tell me about your summers at George
W:Peabody College was really one of the most outstanding
teacher's colleges, now it is aligned with Vanderbilt
University. In fact in the summers it turned almost into a
complete graduate school. Many, many teachers would go back
in the summers to work on degrees. Nashville was just kind
of a nice atmosphere. People called it the Athens of the
South because there are so many schools and churches there
it was just really a nice atmosphere. I really liked a lot
and looked forward to the summers because I liked to find a
K:Yes, it is definitely a break. Let me ask you something, this
is something I am having serious questions about because I
know what it is like to be a starving student. When you
moved back to Miami did you live with your parents or did
you live by yourself?
W:I lived with my parents when I went back to Miami and then when
I moved away to Kentucky I got my own apartment.
K:I was wondering how you could afford to live a summer away like
that and still maintain a household?
W:It really worked out well because then I could save my money
while I was teaching school and then go to summer school and
not have any rent in the summer except for what I was paying
for my college tuition and everything. So that worked out.
K:Especially paying back the student loans and stuff like that.
W:That is right.
K:I think we are ready to move on here. We are up to Kentucky
now, started at Georgetown, that is your first collegiant
teaching job. What did you teach?
W:I taught physical education and health education.
K:I should have asked this first, what year was this?
W:I went to Georgetown [in] the fall of 1968.
K:Where you taught physical and...
W:Physical education, some activity classes like track and field
and basketball and just a variety of things which you
taught. Then some theory courses in health education.
K:How many classes did you teach?
W:Oh, I do not remember but there were a lot of classes.
K:It sounds like a lot.
W:It was. Plus there were six eight o'clock classes that I
taught. I did not finish until about noon on Saturday.
K:You taught on Saturday's too?
W:Taught on Saturday. They got their monies worth. I ran the
intermural program and coached volleyball and basketball.
K:About how much money did they pay you for this?
W:I would think it was about twelve thousand dollars which seems
like nothing today.
K:It is still a lot more money then though.
W:I did not get paid for any of the coaching. You kind of did
that as part of your job.
K:What did you coach? Did you coach a team?
W:Yes, I coached the basketball and volleyball.
K:You did coach basketball and volleyball? You had absolutely no
free time to do anything.
W:Almost no free times, right. I was thinking very seriously of
leaving there that fist year and then they got rid of the
Saturday classes and I was jumping for joy.
K:What did the students say about the Saturday class?
W:Well they had been doing it for years and they kind of took it
for granted that it was going to be Saturday.
K:I think that they would have a revolt if they did a Saturday
class at say UF.
W:It was not uncommon. It has not been too long since they have
had Saturday classes at Penn State.
K:The football team, you can not do that.
W:That is right.
K:Sorry, I am just a little shocked by this. You taught six
eight o'clock classes, you went to noon and you ran the
intermural program and coached two teams. Did you do any
kind of work on your doctorate then?
K:While you were there?
W:No, I started, let us see, it must have been the summer of 1969
I decided I was going to go back and get my doctorate. I
did go out to Southern Illinois University one summer but I
had not really decided what I wanted to emphasize. They did
not have sport history, so that is why I ended up at the
University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
K:You knew you wanted to do sport history? Let us try to tie in
the Olympics as we go along here. Was the Olympics the
reason you wanted to do the sport history?
W:Well, no, not solely, but that was the reason for my
dissertation. I had always been interested in history.
When I started taking some classes and I knew that my topic
was going to be on the Olympic games for my dissertation.
Every time I started looking for things about women, there
was nothing to be found or very, very little. That is how I
determined my dissertation topic. It was called The
Emergence of American Women in the Summer Olympic Games from
1900 to 1972.
K:When did you start? You started in 1969, so this was the year
W:The summer. See, I went several summers and then I went the
academic year of 1972, 1973.
K:Let us get to where you went to Georgetown [and] to Eastern
W:Yes, I was at Georgetown two years, 1968-1969, 1969-1970. 1970
is when I went to Eastern Kentucky University.
K:So the summer between Georgetown and Eastern Kentucky is when
you started your Ph.D. ?
W:I took a couple of classes at Eastern Kentucky. Nothing that
really would have anything to do with my doctoral work.
Then that next summer I went to Southern Illinois. Since
they did not have a doctoral program that is for history,
after I decided that I wanted to emphasize sport history, I
decided to go to Greensboro.
K:Why did you go from Georgetown to Eastern Kentucky?
W:Well, Georgetown was a small school and I was teaching all
those classes, although the second year I was there I did
not have Saturday classes. Small schools are nice, but you
end up teaching so many different things. You have so many
preparations. The program at Eastern Kentucky at the time
was really outstanding. It had a really good physical
education department. There were separate men's and women's
programs then. I was hired there to teach physical
education and coach basketball.
K:In that ,how did your basketball teams do at Georgetown
W:When I was at Georgetown they did okay, but then when I got to
Eastern Kentucky we generally won the state championships
and went to post season play. We had some really good
K:[Has] Eastern Kentucky always been good in women's basketball?
W:I was at Eastern Kentucky four years. When I was there [in]
the early seventies, women's sports were beginning to take
off. Eastern Kentucky had a lot of women who were teaching
physical education and coaching. They had a really good
Department of Physical Education. A lot of the young women
were going to Eastern because of the physical education
program and the sports programs kind of came after that.
They sort of got a jump on a lot of schools and had some
outstanding teams early on.
K:Do you follow them still or do you not do that?
W:I do not hear too much about them now. I do not think that
they are doing as well because some of the other schools now
have teams and there are scholarships and it sort of spread
the talent out.
W:Yes, other people sort of caught up.
K:Where is Eastern Kentucky?
W:It is in Richmond, Kentucky. It is about twenty-five miles
south of Lexington.
K:What classes did you teach there?
W:I taught some basketball classes and elementary physical
education teaching methods. I also taught a sport history
class there which I enjoyed.
K:Was it already offered before you got there or did you develop
W:It was already there when I got there. I think it was called
history and philosophy of physical education.
K:It must have been great for you, practice for your future.
W:Yes, it was a good experience. I had a good colleague there,
Peggy Stanaland. You will meet her at the sport history
meeting by the way. She was interested in sport history. I
remember I sat in on her class which is kind of nice and
then I got to teach it, I guess maybe once a year or so.
K:Did you get teaching tips from her?
W:Yes I did.
K:Do you still use them for this?
W:Probably so, I do not remember exactly. I guess I got more
than teaching tips, I got content rather than the tips.
Having majored in teaching I kind of got lots of ideas about
teaching all the way through my undergraduate and master's.
K:You practiced that for a long time. If you taught a lot of
other classes I need to ask about the
basketball team that you coached for Georgetown [and]
Eastern Kentucky. Around how many games did you
W:I do not remember how many we played at Eastern probably
seventeen, eighteen games. It was still relatively new in
women's sports. [I] never had a loosing season at Eastern.
I do not remember what the records were. People did not
keep much in the way of records and we just played. We
played all the schools in the area, Kentucky, Cinder
College, Berea College [and] some of the schools in Ohio.
K:You played mostly [those in] driving range.
W:Yes we drove, we used a van.
K:Did you have to do anything to raise money? You know have a
W:No, we did not have to because the physical education program
was really strong so we used the equipment and then somehow
we got a travel budget that enabled us to rent vans and go.
K:Somewhat rare back then, was it not?
W:Yes, because a lot of schools were having bake sales and car
washes if they wanted to fund their sports programs.
K:Where did you get your uniforms? Did you get those paid for?
W:Those were from the physical education department budget.
K:Did you get new ones each year?
W:No, we had the same ones. They did fairly well considering,
the years that I was there I think we had the same
basketball uniforms. It was kind of replenished when they
K:I guess that is not too bad.
W:Yes, for one season.
K:It is not unbearable. You played sixteen, seventeen, eighteen
games something like that about half a wave and they were
all within driving range. Let me ask you a few questions.
What are the differences [in] rules and is it still five on
W:Yes, this is five on five. The only thing that changed near
the end there was [the] thirty second rule. The offensive
team had to shoot the ball within thirty seconds.
K:When did that come about, do you have any ideal?
W:I think that was in the mid-1970s when that came in. It was
ahead of the mens game. They did that so people would not
freeze the ball. Again that is sort of [where] conservative
philosophy came in but it really never made much of a
difference in our games. It never was a problem. People
usually ran an offensive play and had plenty of time to do
K:Did they have the shot clocks like they do now? I know not
every place probably has them but any of them?
W:No, most of the time there [were] people sitting on the side
with a watch in their hand and they just blew a whistle when
the time was up.
K:They would not give you any warning or anything?
W: No, because they just did not have the equipment then.
Eventually you began to see them in gyms but they did not
have the electronic devices that they have today.
K:So you just run down and you had to guess when the shot clock
K:Must have been interesting.
W:It really did not matter because rarely was a team ever called
for the thirty second violation. People got the ball down,
set up and shot the ball and there you go.
K:That is interesting. So much different in today's game where
everybody is watching Let us go to your doctoral
work. You did it in the summer?
W:Well, I did some in the summer, but I was there the academic
year of 1972-1973.
K:So you did summers and one full year?
W:Yes, and then I took a couple of history classes at Eastern
Kentucky. I took a couple of classes that transferred to
K:Were they counted?
K:Say one more time what your dissertation topic was.
W:Dissertation, The Emergence of American Women in the Summer
Olympic Games [from] 1900 to 1972.
K:So that was your dissertation? What was your Ph.D. called? Was
it in sport history?
W:Well, actually it is a doctor of education. At that time they
did not give a Ph.D so it is an Ad.D. It is in sport
history and teacher preparation or pedagote.
K:It is pedagote. I learned that word. Did you not do something
called movement education?
W:Yes, that was the other thing that I liked. It was a different
approach to teaching physical education. It was called
movement education. It still is today. It is a British
approach in which there is a lot of emphasis on teaching
children the skills of games and then putting them into game
situations. I like that idea. I got tired of the relays
and [activities] that just involved a few kids and some
making fun of others. The movement education approach
involves maximum participation. Each child with a piece of
equipment. I think it is a real good approach to teaching.
K:It was not just rolling the ball out there. Kind of a lot
different than a fat football coach coming out and coaching
someone. That is what you always think of a P.E. coach. It
is a lot more scientific. Maybe I am ignorant, but that
does not seem to go together. Writing a dissertation about
the women in the Olympics and then having movement
W:It does not seem like it goes together. The reason I did it
was that all though I really wanted to teach sport history,
that was my main interest area, I knew that I would have to
have something else to be able to show people what I could
do in order to be hired at a university. So it was teacher
K:Get your foot in the door so you could do the It
seemed to work very well. You do not teach any physical
education anymore do you?
W:No, I do not I just teach the theory classes. I do not teach
any activity classes anymore. Once a year I teach a
movement education class in the fall but mostly it is in the
area of sport history.
K:That is great. I think we are up to when you actually get to
the University of Florida. Finally got a way from all that
FSU stuff. How did you decide to come here? Where did you
hear about it?
W:When I was in Kentucky, in fact even when I left Florida I knew
that I wanted to come back to Florida. I contacted whoever
was running the state physical education convention and got
myself on the convention program and I met Dr. Ruth
Alexander. [I] told her it was interested in a teaching
position and coaching. At the time she did not have any
openings, so we just kept in touch. Then low and behold,
that summer she contacted me. There were a couple of other
opportunities too. Something at the University of West
Florida, something at Florida State, Miami-Dade Community
College I, think it was the North Campus and then the
University of Florida. The one that worked out was the
University of Florida. I ended up here teaching physical
education and coaching basketball. Coaching basketball for
K:This was in 1974?
W:I came here in the fall of 1974. The first year I coached I
did not receive any kind of a salary. The second year I
coached I got two thousand dollars for coaching basketball.
K:How much was your starting salary just for teaching?
W:I think it was about fourteen thousand.
W:Yes, that was 1974. I think it was about fourteen thousand, I
am not sure.
K:How many classes did you teach a year?
W:We were on the quarter system then. I do not remember, four
classes maybe, something like that.
K:You about half the classes you taught at Georgetown
for twelve thousand dollars.
W:Yes, it was different.
K:Were there any Saturday classes then?
W:No Saturday classes. Of course I was happy about that.
K:I think everybody was! Where did you live when you got to
W:I lived in some apartments in the southwest section over off of
Southwest Thirty-Fourth Street, not too far from Archer
Road. A lot of students [lived] there, it got real noisy
so I bought a house in Northwood Pines.
K:Grew up a little, huh? What was Gainesville like when you
first here? How much different is it than then?
W:Well, very different. I guess one measures that there was no
Oaks Mall. And the only thing out around where the strip is
now, where all the restaurants are, there was a Publix out
K:Which strip is this?
W:Along Archer Road where all the restaurants are located now
there was almost nothing out that way. The Publix is out
there and a few things around there but there were just open
K:Was Butler Plaza in the ?
W:Just a little bit of Butler Plaza had started developing. The
old Gainesville mall which is now..
W:Yes, it is Thirteen Street, not too far from where Blockbuster
W:Goody's is there and Morrisons Cafeteria is still there. It is
that area. That was the old mall and that is where people
did most of their shopping. It has really grown,
particularly the northwest, out toward the interstate, since
I have been here.
K:It is definitely different. (END OF SIDE A, TAPE A) Okay this
is side two, April 1, 1996 contiuation of the interview with
Dr. Paula Welch. We were talking about you were at
University of Florida, just moved here, you were teaching
three or four classes during the quarter. What classes were
W:They used to have some called basic classes, basic concepts
that were kind of theory courses on exercise and physiology
that students who were not majoring in physical education
took. Then I taught some methods classes in teaching
basketball and some activities like that. At first when I
came we did not have any history classes and then we
developed a sport history class, history of American
physical education and sport at the undergraduate level.
K:Did you develop this?
W:I along with Dr. Harold Lerch. We worked on that together.
K:Did you write a book?
W:We co-authored a book.
K:How big were the classes, how many just approximately?
W:They were in the thirties, forties.
K:About what it is now.
W:Well, now the history class is in the eighties. Bigger
classrooms and some of the bigger classes.
K:Bigger school. Did you teach any graduate level?
W:No, I do not remember the year I started teaching graduate
class but I started teaching for a while it was called
historical perspectives in sport, now it is called sport in
the twenteth century. I developed that one and then I
developed the one on the Olympic games and the
K:I want to ask you about some of the basketball stuff that you
did. You came here I know you did not get paid the first
year and you did get a raise from zero to something you
second year. Tell me about that first basketball team Is
this the first ever of this basketball team?
W:This was the second team I think. But I was the first official
coach because the coach the year before had been a graduate
student. I was hired to teach physical education and coach
basketball so the salary was only a teaching not a coaching.
There was no coaching stifined at all. I did not think
anything about it because that is just the way it wa then.
K:You were only coaching one sport instead of three or four like
So that was part of the contract that you would
K:Did that team before you, was it an official team?
W:They played in the state. Even when I was coaching there were
not too many records. When people start things they usually
do not keep very good records. Now you have all kinds of
statistics. It is just amazing what people know about teams
today. When I was working with that team we had schedules
that I made up. So we really did not keep a lot of records.
The same thing happened the year before, the team that was
coached by the graduate student, they had a few games and
they played the state tournament. I think they did pretty
well. The first year I coached I think we came in third in
the state tournament. The next year we won the state
K:It makes it very hard when you do not have records for people
like me to go back and find something. Tell me about your
first team. Were any of your players on the scholarship?
W:We did not have scholarships until the second year so everybody
walked on in a sense. We had try-outs but there were no
scholarships until the second year. Then I had three
scholarships the second year.
K:It seems like a lot of problems. How many people did you have
on the team?
W:I think about a dozen is what we had.
K:Did you have any real good tall ones?
W:I had some that were around six feet, maybe six one. There
were not as many people over six feet playing the game as
there are today. Just a larger talent pool now.
K:What kind of team was it?