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Chris Kamrani and Tom Wharton
Chris Kamrani and Tom Wharton write about all aspects of high school sports for the Tribune. Follow Chris Kamrani on Twitter at @chriskamrani.

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(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Davis coach Jay Welk, as Brighton hosts Davis High School, boys basketball in Sandy, Wednesday December 4, 2013.
Boys’ basketball: Jay Welk retiring after 24 years at Davis

When Davis basketball coach Jay Welk took over the Darts 24 years ago, he inherited a program fresh off a region title, one capable of making a state championship game in his second season.

Now Welk, who recently announced his retirement, is looking forward to returning the favor of handing over a program in prime condition to his successor. The Darts won the Region 1 title this year, advanced to the Class 5A state semifinals and will return one of the best players in the state next season, guard Jesse Wade.

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"One of my criteria [of retirement] was I wanted to leave the program in the same place as I got it," Welk said. "Whoever gets this job is getting one of the best players to come through Davis High coming back. And there are very good players here besides Jesse.

"I always said I thought I had as good a job as there was in the state of Utah."

Welk leaves Davis after amassing 10 region titles, advancing to eight state semifinals and playing for four state championships, winning one in 2002. But more than the success he had on the court, Welk said he’ll most miss the relationships he formed with his players.

Still, Welk said he is ready to move on to new challenges.

"This has been part of my world, but it’s not my world," said Welk, whose youngest child is a senior at Davis. "There have been other things going on in my life. I hope I’m not defined by being a basketball coach."

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