Ralph "Pest" Welch graduated from Purdue in 1930 where he was an All-American halfback under Jim Phelan. Welch followed Phelan to Washington where he served as an assistant coach in all but one (1938) of Phelan's 12 years at Washington. Welch finished with a 27-20-3 record at Washington and took the '43 squad to the 1944 Rose Bowl where they lost to USC 29-0. Welch's six seasons were marked by the turmoil caused by World War II as players came and left as their war duties allowed them to. Welch resigned in 1948.