Beaver Falls, PA – When you have been doing something that you love for nearly 45 years, it is not easy to give it up. Ron Galbreath has been doing just that on a basketball sideline for almost five decades as one of the most legendary college coaches in the country. Galbreath has decided to end his run of head coaching with his last stop coming as the head coach of the Geneva women’s basketball program since 2002.
While recovering from a stroke in the spring of 2008, Galbreath decided to take the entire 2008-09 season away from the game that he loves so much. In his first six seasons with the Golden Tornadoes’ women’s program, he recorded a 111-48 overall record and took Geneva to its only NAIA national tournament appearance in school history.
After much consideration from family and friends in recent weeks, Galbreath made the difficult decision to step down from coaching immediately. He will continue to work in the Physical Education department as an instructor throughout the remainder of the fall semester. “I simply love the game of basketball,” said Galbreath. “It has always been about helping people improve and helping the teams that I have coached get better throughout the year. I just don’t feel comfortable enough that I can physically handle the demands that a basketball season will bring.”
Galbreath spent 25 seasons at Westminster College coaching its men’s team to six regular season district titles and three trips to the NAIA Division I National Tournament. Upon leaving Westminster, Galbreath was hired at Geneva prior to the 2002 school year. “I am so grateful and appreciative for the opportunity that Geneva College gave me to continue my passion of coaching. It is been truly a blessing to have this opportunity and to be able to work with such great people. I couldn’t think of a better place for my coaching career to come to an end.”
Galbreath began his head coaching career at Westminster for one year in 1968 before moving on to Clarion University for the next five years. It was after that stint, the legendary coach went back to New Wilmington to continue a career that posted an overall record of 634-192. Inducted into the Western Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame in 1993, Galbreath has certainly left an indelible mark on this region’s basketball history.
“This has been a very difficult decision for Ron in that he has been coaching at the college level for nearly 45 years,” said Geneva College athletic director Kim Gall. “We are so thankful and appreciative for his faithful service to Geneva College and especially the women’s basketball program. We are looking forward to seeing Coach Galbreath remaining active on campus as he will still be teaching classes in the Physical Education department.”
Geneva College will begin an immediate search for Galbreath’s successor for the upcoming season. The head coaching job will be a full time position with an interim tag for the first year.
Geneva College is a comprehensive Christian college of the arts, sciences and professional studies. Founded in the tradition of the Reformed Christian faith, Geneva prepares students to serve Christ in all areas of society: work, family and the church. Geneva College’s philosophy of education is based on the Foundational Concepts of Christian Higher Education. Geneva is a founding member of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU).
Geneva students have the opportunity each summer to attend Au Sable Institute of Environmental Studies to develop practical methods of caring for the environment.