Geneva's Ralston accepts coaching job at Glenbrook South

  • Geneva boys basketball coach Phil Ralston has accepted a teaching job at Glenbrook South, where he will also be the new head basketball coach.

      Geneva boys basketball coach Phil Ralston has accepted a teaching job at Glenbrook South, where he will also be the new head basketball coach. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

Updated 5/2/2017 8:51 PM

Geneva boys basketball coach Phil Ralston has accepted a teaching and coaching position at Glenbrook South High School, effective at the end of the school year.

A Glenbrook North graduate, Ralston owns a career record of 301-179 (.627). In nine seasons at Geneva, his teams went 193-77, highlighted by a 30-win season in 2014-15, when they took fourth in Class 4A.


The 2016-17 Vikings opened the season in record-setting fashion by winning their first 26 games. Geneva finished 28-3 after losing to Hinsdale South in a regional final on a buzzer-beater.

Ralston was named an Illinois Basketball Coaches Association District Coach of the Year in 2016-17, his fourth such award.

"I had always thought I would finish my teaching and coaching career at Geneva, but sometimes an opportunity comes along that you simply can't refuse," Ralston said via news release. "Glenbrook South is one of the few places that could have enticed me to leave Geneva. Glenview is a fantastic community, and GBS has a reputation as a great place to teach. The school's athletic facilities are top-notch and I've been very impressed with the school leadership. The basketball team plays in the Titandome, which is one of the unique and top venues in the state."

Ralston spent 11 years at Grant before coming to Geneva, the last eight years as head coach. His record at Grant was 108-102.

He also spent two seasons as a graduate assistant at Northwestern, a year as an assistant coach at Trinity University and a year as an assistant at Deerfield. He graduated from Minnesota, earned his Masters from Northwestern, his MA in Educational Leadership from Aurora University and his teaching certificate from Loyola.

Ralston averaged a Geneva-best 21.4 wins per season, and finishes with the highest career winning percentage (72) among the program's boys basketball coaches. He finishes with the second-most wins in school history behind IBCA Hall of Fame coach Mel Johnson.

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Ralston's teams won six Thanksgiving, three Christmas-Holiday, and two MLK tournament titles; three conference championships; enjoyed six 20-win seasons, including the past five in a row, and a pair of regional titles.

Geneva athletic director Dave Carli is out of the office this week and did not return a call for comment.

"All records and accolades aside, the most rewarding aspect of my time here has been getting to know and working with some truly outstanding kids," Ralston said. "Over the last nine years at Geneva I've gotten to know and appreciate some terrific families. One of my themes for the basketball program through the years was 'nobody rides this ship, everybody rows,' and I hope that's a concept these young men will remember and apply throughout their lives because it really is fundamental to success in basketball and in life."

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