Gustavus Adolphus junior safety Joe Welch (Hastings, Minn.) is one of nineteen Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) football student-athletes to have been named to the 2008 D3football.com All-West Region Team. The nineteen chosen from the MIAC is more than any other conference in the region. Welch was selected to the First Team Defense.
Welch had a solid 2008 season as he led the Gusties with 98 tackles, including 51 solo stops, to go along with one tackle for loss, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery. Welch finished third among MIAC defensive players with 10.1 tackles per game as he was named to the All-MIAC First Team Defense. He posted double-digit tackles in five games this season including a season-high 16 stops (six solo) against Concordia at strong safety. Welch recorded five interceptions in a defense that is ranked sixth in Division III with 22 picks. He currently has 180 career tackles and 99 solo stops heading into his final season at Gustavus.
The West Region includes the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC), the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (IIAC), the Midwest Conference (MWC), the Northwest Conference (NWC), the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC), and several independents. The All-Region Team, selected in balloting by West Region sports information directors and D3football.com staff, was chosen from 154 nominations by member schools with a total of 75 players chosen.
Gustavus finished the year 6-4 overall and tied for fifth place in the MIAC with a 4-4 league mark.
Welch, a management major, is the son of Russ and Lisa Welch of Hastings and a 2005 graduate of Hastings High School.