Hofstra Hoops Coach Resigns Following DWI Bust

Coach was found asleep at the wheel last Friday

By Michael Clancy
|  Monday, May 3, 2010  |  Updated 2:03 PM EDT
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NEW YORK - MARCH 9: Head coach Tim Welsh of the Providence College Friars watches the Big East Men's Basketball Championship against the West Virginia University Mountaineers on March 9, 2005 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The Mountaineers won 82-59. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

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Hofstra basketball coach Tim Welsh has resigned days after he was charged with drunken driving.

The resignation was announced by the Long Island school Monday, saying it was "in the best interests of the university and of the men's basketball program." Welsh was hired in March and suspended by Hofstra on Friday.

Welsh was arrested Friday morning after Nassau County police found him stopped at a green light at an intersection in Levittown. He pleaded not guilty at his arraignment and is due back in district court Tuesday.

Welsh previously coached at Iona and Providence. He spent the past two seasons as a TV commentator.

His lawyer did not immediately return a telephone message. Welsh's voicemail box was full.

Welsh, 49, was pulled over in Levittown at about 1 a.m. Friday after officers on patrol observed him at the intersection of Hempstead Turnpike and N. Bellmore Road stopped inside his 2006 Lexus although the light was green.

"A canine officer on patrol finds the subject asleep at a steady traffic light, " Nassau Det. Lt. Kevin Smith told NBCNewYork. "The officer pulls up, sees that he is asleep, his foot on the brake and his car in drive."

After a field investigation, in which Welsh smelled of alcohol and was swaying, he was charged with driving while intoxicated, Smith said.  He faces arraignment in a court in Hempstead today.

The college apparently only found out about the situation from media reports.

"We have learned through media reports of the charges against Mr. Welsh," university officials said in a statement. "Effective immediately, he has been suspended without pay, while the University investigates the charges against him." 

Welsh replaced Tom Pecora who left the Long Island school to coach at Fordham University.  Pecora replaced Jay Wright, who raised the profile of the school before moving on to coach Villanova University. Welsh spent 10 seasons at Providence, leading the Friars to the NCAA tournament in 2001 and 2004. His record was 160-143. 

At Iona, his record was 70-22, with one NCAA and two NIT appearances.  Welsh spent the last two years in the broadcast booth for ESPN.

When he was named coach last month, Welsh said he was looking forward to returning to coaching in his home state.

"It's great to be back, up on the horse, off and and running," Welsh told FanHouse. "It's a great situation -- they've always had good tradition here -- a good fit for me. I know the area. It's an easy transition for me to make and I am looking forward to the challenge."

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