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John Ralston, former Stanford, Broncos coach, dies at 92

Posted at 7:01 AM, Sep 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-16 09:01:54-04

SUNNYVALE, Calif. (AP) — John Ralston, the former Stanford and Denver Broncos coach, has died. He was 92.

San Jose State, where Ralston finished his coaching career and later worked as special assistant to the athletic director, said Sunday that Ralston died Saturday in Sunnyvale.

Ralston was the head coach at Utah State from 1959-62, moved to Stanford in 1963 and to the Broncos in 1972. After leaving Denver in 1976 with a 34-33-3 record in five seasons, he coached the Oakland Invaders of the United States Football League from 1983-84 and at San Jose State from 1993-96.

Ralston's Stanford teams won consecutive Pac-8 championships and the Rose Bowl following the 1970 and 1971 regular seasons. Inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1992, he coached 1970 Heisman Trophy winner Jim Plunkett at Stanford and Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive lineman Merlin Olsen at Utah State.

Ralston was a linebacker at Cal, playing in two Rose Bowl under coach Pappy Waldorf. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the South Pacific in World War II, achieving the rank of corporal.