BELLINGHAM, Wash — The Bellingham Bells announced today they have hired Bob Ralston as their new head coach for the 2024 season, making him the 15th head coach in Bells history.
Ralston replaces Jim Clem, who spent 11 years with the team. Clem managed the 2023 team to a 37-19 record before stepping down at the conclusion of the 2023 season.
“We are beyond thrilled to have found a candidate like Bob Ralston,” Bells general manager Stephanie Morrell said. “Glenn [Kirkpatrick, Bells’ owner] and I wanted to find someone who was not only a great baseball person with the ability to help our players grow, but also a high integrity human being who could keep our community-centered culture intact. When we met Bob, we instantly knew he was a fit and everything we were looking for in a manager.”
Ralston’s impressive coaching resume spans from high school coaching all the way to Minor League Baseball (MiLB.) For two years, he was the manager for the Williamsport Cubs, then a single-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs. He spent four seasons as the head coach at St. Patrick-St. Vincent High School and two seasons at Diablo Valley College before joining Cal State East Bay in 2011. During his five-year tenure at Cal State East Bay, Ralston posted a 134-114 record and lead the Pioneers to three 30+ win seasons. In 2016, Ralston’s Pioneers broke the school win record (33), won the CCAA North Division Championship and qualified for the NCAA West Regionals for the first time in 39 years. Ralston was named the 2016 CCAA Coach of the Year, as well as the West Region Coach of the Year.
Most recently he served as a volunteer assistant coach at Saint Mary’s College in 2022 and 2023 where he led infielders and assisted with hitters.
The former All-American at the University of Arizona, signed with the Minnesota Twins in 1984 in the sixth round as the 140th overall pick. For seven years, he played in the MiLB for the Twins and the Oakland Athletics.
As head coach, Ralston will assist with roster construction, baseball operations and oversee the Bells coaching staff —who he will also assist with the hiring of.
“I’m grateful and looking forward to working with everyone in this organization,” said Ralston. “Go Bells!”