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July 29, 2011 > Pioneers hire new baseball coach

Pioneers hire new baseball coach

Submitted By Kelly Hayes, CSUEB Sports Info Director

Cal State East Bay Director of Athletics Debby De Angelis announced the hiring of Bob Ralston as the new head baseball coach on Wednesday, July 27. A local product and Moreau Catholic High School Hall of Famer, Ralston brings 21 years of coaching experience across all levels to the helm for the Pioneers.

"We look forward to beginning our active membership in Division II with the leadership of Bob Ralston for our baseball program," De Angelis said. "He brings a tremendous multi-faceted background, both as a player and a coach, and we look forward to seeing him succeed as a leader on and off the field."

Ralston joins the Cal State East Bay staff following 13 years as the head baseball coach at Clayton Valley High School, where he captured seven Diablo Valley Athletic League titles and a pair of North Coast Section championships. During his tenure, Ralston guided the Eagles to their best record (24-3), most wins (26) and best season batting average (.394) in program history. Under his watch, Clayton Valley players have set or tied eight individual program records, earning Ralston a pair of Coach of the Year awards.

Ralston previously spent three seasons as a head coach at St. Patrick-St. Vincent High School in Vallejo from 1995-97, where he won a league title. All told, he compiled a 344-95 record as a high school head coach, collecting eight league championships and a pair of section titles.

Adding to his impressive coaching résumé, Ralston also served two seasons as the head coach at Diablo Valley College from 2007-09. Ralston led the Vikings to a California Community College Athletic Association NorCal Elite Eight appearance, a top-10 ranking in the state and a 54-39 record over his two years there. Ralston got his start in coaching as an assistant at Cal from 1990-91, helping the Bears to the NCAA Regional final, before moving on to serve as an assistant at Diablo Valley from 1992-94.

A former All-American at the University of Arizona, Ralston also boasts playing and coaching experience at the professional level. From 1997-99, Ralston served as manager for the Williamsport Cubs, then a single-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs. Taken in the sixth round as the 140th pick of the 1984 Major League Baseball Amateur Player Draft, Ralston signed with the Minnesota Twins after an impressive career at Arizona. He then spent seven years playing in the minor leagues for both the Twins and Oakland Athletics.

A junior transfer to Arizona, Ralston led the Wildcats in hitting both seasons, batting .336 as a junior in 1983 and .363 as a senior in 1984. A versatile player, Ralston played both middle infield positions, earning back-to-back first-team All-Pac 10 honors. After helping guide Arizona to a pair of 20-win seasons, Ralston collected Baseball America first-team All-America honors in 1984. Prior to joining the Wildcats, Ralston played two seasons at Chabot College in Hayward.

A 1980 graduate of Moreau Catholic in Hayward, Ralston was a member of the 2003 Athletic Hall of Fame induction class. Ralston earned his bachelor's degree in physical education from Cal State East Bay in 1988 and returned to get his master's from CSUEB in 1992. He also earned a California State Teaching Credential from Chapman University in 1998 and has taught physical education at both the community college and high school levels for 18 years.

"I want to thank the Debby and the administrative team for giving me the opportunity to come back to my alma mater and build a winner," Ralston said.

Ralston takes the reins from Dirk Morrison who, after 18 years of loyal and successful service as head coach at Cal State East Bay, will retire from the university to pursue other interests. Ralston inherits a team that will be eligible for the postseason for the first time since rejoining Division II and returns its leading run scorers in Andrew Woolfe and Charlie Sharrer and its top two starting pitchers in Brandyn Bell - an All-CCAA Honorable Mention selection - and Bryce Miller. Bullpen leader Zachary Wong is also set to return for the 2012 campaign.

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