Wes Welker joined the Miami Dolphins as wide receivers coach in 2022.
The 2022 season marks Welker's 18th year of NFL experience including 12 as a player and six as a coach, working primarily with the wide receiver position. He's coached or played in four Super Bowls and six conference championships.
Welker spent three seasons (2019-21) as wide receivers coach for San Francisco, helping the 49ers reach two conference championship games and an appearance in Super Bowl LIV. He worked closely with wide receiver Deebo Samuel, who arrived in San Francisco the same year Welker did as a second-round pick (36th overall) in 2019, and developed into the NFL's fifth-leading receiver in 2021 (1,405 yards).
In 2021, Welker coached two 800-yard receivers. Samuel's 1,405 receiving yards were ninth in franchise history and the most by any player other than wide receiver Jerry Rice and wide receiver Terrell Owens. Samuel also rushed for 365 yards and his 1,770 scrimmage yards were the most by a 49er since running back Frank Gore had 2,180 in 2006. He earned first-team All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors. Wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk totaled 826 receiving yards and five touchdowns in his second NFL season. San Francisco won 10 games and advanced to the NFC Championship game.
Injuries plagued the 49ers offense in 2020 but Welker helped Aiyuk record 60 receptions for 748 yards (12.5 avg.) and five touchdowns in his rookie season despite playing just 12 games. His 748 yards were sixth-most by an NFL rookie that season and the most by any rookie that didn't play in all 16 games. It was also the third- most by a rookie in 49ers history. Wide receiver Kendrick Bourne totaled a then career-high 49 receptions and 667 receiving yards (13.6 avg.).
In Welker's first season as a position coach in 2019, he helped the team win 13 games, win the NFC and advance to Super Bowl LIV. Samuel led the team's wide receivers with 57 receptions for 802 yards (14.1 avg.) as a rookie. His 802 receiving yards were fourth-most by a rookie in the league that season and second-most all-time by a 49ers rookie behind Rice's 927 yards in 1985. Wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders was acquired midseason in a trade with Denver and finished third on the team in both receptions (36) and receiving yards (502).
Welker's first coaching job came as an offensive/special teams assistant with Houston from 2017-18.
In 2018, the Texans finished the season with the fifth-most punt return yards (327) in the league and were seventh in kickoff return average (24.4). Wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins had the best year of his career, totaling 115 receptions for 1,572 yards (13.7 avg.) and 11 touchdowns. His 1,572 receiving yards were second in the NFL that season. He earned first-team All-Pro honors and a Pro Bowl selection.
In 2017, Welker helped Hopkins and wide receiver Will Fuller V combine for 20 receiving touchdowns, which were the most by any pair of teammates in the NFL that year and most by any pair of Texans teammates in franchise history. Hopkins earned first-team All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors after totaling 96 receptions for 1,378 yards (14.4 avg.) and a franchise-record 13 touchdowns.
Welker played 12 NFL seasons as a wide receiver and returner with San Diego (2004), Miami (2004-06), New England (2007-12), Denver (2013-14) and St. Louis (2015). He appeared in 175 games with 102 starts, totaling 903 career receptions for 9,924 yards (11.0 avg.) and 50 touchdowns. On special teams, he had 183 career kickoff returns for 4,138 yards (22.6 avg.) and one touchdown and 264 career punt returns for 2,584 yards (9.8 avg.).
As a player, Welker earned two first-team All-Pro honors (2009, 2011), two second-team All-Pro honors (2007-08) and five Pro Bowl selections (2008-12). He was named to the PFWA All-Rookie team in 2004 and appeared in three Super Bowls (XLII, XLVI and XLVIII). He led the NFL in receptions three times (2007, 2009 and 2011) and holds the record for most receptions by an undrafted wide receiver in NFL history (903).
During Welker's three seasons (2004-06) in Miami, he appeared in 46 games with three starts, totaling 96 receptions for 1,121 yards (11.7 avg.) and one touchdown. He also totaled 127 punt returns for 1,232 yards (9.7 avg.) and 166 kickoff returns for 3,756 yards (22.6 avg.) and one touchdown. Welker still holds Dolphins career records for punt returns (tied with Jake Scott and O.J. McDuffie at 127), kickoff returns (166) and kickoff return yards (3,756). He also holds team single-season marks for punt returns (43 in both 2004 and 2005) and punt return yards (464 in 2004).
Welker attended Texas Tech, where he recorded 259 career receptions for 3,019 yards (11.7 avg.) and 21 touchdowns in addition to 79 carries for 456 yards (5.8 avg.) and two touchdowns. He tied an NCAA record with eight punt return touchdowns and won the Mosi Tatupu Award in 2003 for the best special teams player in college football. Sports Illustrated named him to the publication's all-decade team as a punt returner.
An Oklahoma City native, Welker and his wife, Anna, have three children, Carter, Caroline and Jack.