Hall of Fame - Inductee Detail

John Ralston

John Ralston


  • Position: Coach
  • School: Utah State, Stanford, San Jose State
  • Years: 1959-1995
  • Inducted: 1992
  • Place of Birth: Oakland, CA
  • Date of Birth: Apr 26, 1927

Member Biography

John Ralston was head coach at the college level 1959-71 and coached in the pros until 1984. He was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1992. In 1993, at age 66, he came out of retirement to become coach at San Jose State. He had a 31-11-1 record at Utah State 1959-62; his teams were in the Oil Bowl and Gotham Bowl. His record at Stanford 1963-71 was 55-36-3; his last two Stanford teams won in the Rose Bowl. Ralston coached the Denver Broncos of the National Football League 1972-76 and the Oakland Invaders of the U.S. Football League 1981-84. Ralston grew up in Norway, Michigan. At age 17 he joined the Marines, and he served three years. At age 20 he enrolled in the University of California. He was linebacker on the football team 1948-50. He coached in high school and as an assistant at California before becoming a head coach at Utah State in 1959. Ralston served in many sports: in 1986, general manager of the San Jose Golddiggers, a women's professional volleyball team; 1987, general manager of the Sacramento Capitols in the Team Tennis League; in 1988-90, scout for the Seattle Seahawks football team. Also in 1990 he went to Russia and coached the Moscow Bears, a native team which played U.S. teams. Ralston coached four years at San Jose State, 1993-96. He then took a job as special assistant to the director of athletics at the same school.