Geneva Mourns the Passing of Coach Galbreath - Geneva College
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Geneva Mourns the Passing of Coach Galbreath

Picture of Geneva Mourns the Passing of Coach Galbreath

Geneva College is mourning the passing of legendary coach Ron Galbreath this week.  Coach Galbreath passed away on Saturday, December 9, with his family by his side.

Coach Galbreath was one of the best college basketball coaches this region has ever seen.  He was hired early in his career as an assistant by Hall of Fame Geneva men’s basketball coach Cliff Aultmann.  In 1968, Galbreath became the head coach at Westminster College for one season before moving on to Clarion University for five seasons.  He then moved back to Westminster where he had a long and distinguished career as the men’s basketball coach.  Galbreath was at Westminster for 25 years and accumulated 448 wins, including six district titles and three trips to the NAIA national tournament.

Geneva hired Galbreath in 2002 to take over its women’s basketball program, and he continued his winning ways on College Hill.  Under Galbreath’s leadership Geneva put together the best stretch in its program’s history, culminated with the program’s first and only trip to the NAIA national tournament in 2007.  Galbreath stepped down after the 2008-2009 season for health reasons, and he finished his Geneva head coaching career with a 111-48 record over six seasons.

Coach Galbreath
All told, Galbreath finished his coaching career with an impressive record of 634-192 across all his coaching stops.  He was elected into the Western Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame in 1993.

More than basketball, though, Galbreath remained a regular fixture around the Geneva campus, often visiting the Athletic Department weekly to visit, to look over the basketball results and the stats, and to be a friend to the many people on campus who had come to know him so well.  It wasn’t uncommon for Galbreath to have a box of donuts in his hands to give out to whoever was interested.  Galbreath is described as kind and patient and willing to talk to anyone, whether it was an administrator he had known for years or a student he had just met.

While his presence will be greatly missed, his legacy lives on and his impact is expected to continue to be felt around campus, not just for what he did on the basketball court, but with the way he lived his life and was a friend to so many.

“There are very few people that make an impact on virtually everyone they come into contact with throughout their life,” Geneva Athletic Director Van Zanic stated.  “Coach Galbreath was a man that simply made everyone’s life better.  What he accomplished on the court is easily appreciated by the numbers, but the impact he made on the lives around him will be his lasting legacy.”

“The Galbreath coaching tree spreads far and wide for those he impacted in the coaching profession,” Zanic continued.  “The Galbreath life tree is never ending and one that has been growing since Coach first started using basketball as a vehicle to change people’s lives.  To say he will be greatly missed is my understatement of the year.  Much like pretty much every person that ever knew Ron Galbreath, he made a huge impact on me both personally and professionally.”

Geneva College will be hosting a Celebration of Life service for Coach Galbreath inside of Metheny Fieldhouse this Saturday, December 16, at 2 p.m.  The service is open to the public.

Geneva College is a Christ-centered academic community that provides a comprehensive education to equip students for faithful and fruitful service to God and neighbor. Offering over 80 traditional undergraduate majors and programs, Adult Degree Programs with fully online and classroom options, and high-demand graduate degrees, Geneva's programs are recognized for their high quality. U.S. News & World Report ranks Geneva as a Top Three Best Value Regional University with one of the Top 100 engineering programs in the nation. Adhering to the truth of Scripture, a Geneva education is grounded in God’s Word as well as in a core curriculum designed to prepare students vocationally to think, write and communicate well in today’s world. 

Dec 11, 2017