Consistency in coaching is the trademark of athletic success, success that has been celebrated at Geneva College for decades. As they continue to lead their teams to victory, several members of Geneva’s coaching staff have reached significant milestones in their careers.
The fun began in early 2007 when head women’s basketball coach Ron Galbreath picked up career victory 600. Galbreath, who spent the first 30 years of his coaching career coaching men, spent the majority of his time as the men’s head coach at Westminster College. During the last six years, Galbreath has enjoyed incredible success with Geneva’s women Golden Tornadoes and, at the end of 2007, became just the second women’s basketball coach in school history to pick up his 100th victory.
In men’s basketball, 12-year head coach Jeff Santarsiero recorded his 200th Geneva victory this year. After winning 203 games, Santarsiero passed his predecessor Jerry Slocum and moved into second place on Geneva’s all-time victories list.
In the fall, head football coach Geno DeMarco recorded his 100th victory on the sidelines. With more victories than any coach in the history of Geneva football, DeMarco has been a fixture on the sidelines for 16 years.
Geneva’s program sits firmly in the hands of head coaches Wendy Smith and Curt Conser. The duo has teamed up for the past seven years and has recorded over 100 victories, more than any volleyball coach prior to their arrival.
Mandee Craft has guided the women’s tennis team for the past seven seasons, accumulating 35 victories during that time. Craft has also led Geneva to three consecutive post-season appearances.
Alan Sumner, elder statesmen of Geneva’s athletic department, has led Geneva’s baseball team for 19 years. Sumner has recorded more victories than any coach in school history. Leading Geneva to a conference title last year, Sumner won 457 games in his first 19 years and should be less than two years away from claiming career victory 500.
During his five years as softball coach, Van Zanic has led the team to 146 victories, ranking him as number one on the all-time softball list. Zanic is 19 victories shy of surpassing long-time basketball coach Kim Gall for the most coaching victories in the history of Geneva women’s athletics.
Track and Field
In a sport that is not always judged by team victories, Geneva’s track and field teams have enjoyed annual success under the guidance of 10-year head coach Bret Otte. To understand the significance of his coaching career, check the school’s record book: of the records set prior to Otte’s arrival on campus, only a handful remain. In fact, a total of 86 records have been erased in both men’s and women’s track in the last 10 years.
While the majority of coaches have spent years at Geneva, the men’s and women’s soccer coaches are relatively new to the programs. On the men’s side, Todd Beall has spent the last two years turning the Golden Tornadoes around. During the 2007 campaign, the team finished with 12 victories, an improvement of nine games over Beall’s first season. After taking over the women’s program last summer, Linda Sumner hopes to mirror this transformation during their upcoming season.
The success of Geneva’s coaching staff is revealed not only in the record books, but in the lives of their players. Leading by example and encouraging spiritual, academic, as well as athletic development, coaches impact student-athletes in all areas of life. As milestones continue to be reached and records continue to fall, students continue to shine in and out of the athletic arena.