ravenscroft john
John Ravenscroft
  • Coached the Newton Railroaders to four state championships in 1946, 1949, 1952, 1956
  • Co-founded United Scholarships, Inc.
  • Member of 3 other Hall of Fames
Ravenscroft, John
Inducted 2005

Born: January 30, 1915 – Newton, KS

Died: March 16, 1998 – Yreka, CA

Graduated: Newton High School, 1934; University of Colorado, 1940; MS – University of Wichita (Wichita State), 1958


A highly-successful basketball coach at one of the state’s all-time traditional powers, John Ravenscroft wanted to be remembered as an educator first and coach second. He loved young people, and they didn’t have to wear a basketball uniform to be one of his favorites.

Playing Career

Ravenscroft played for the legendary Frank Lindley at Newton High School. He was also a member of Colorado’s 1940 Big Seven championship team.

Coaching Highlights

Those who played for Ravenscroft and the Newton Railroaders had an amazing 13-year run from 1945-58. The Railers won four state championships – in 1946, ’49, ’52 and ’56 – finished second three times and won 10 titles in the rugged Ark Valley League. His 1948 team won 25 consecutive games before losing a three-point decision to Lawrence in the state finals. Ravenscroft resigned his head coaching position at Newton in 1958 with a record of 287 wins and just 51 losses.  He spent four more years in Newton before moving to Yreka, Calif., where he coached the high school basketball team to a 19-4 record and the Northern California state championship. He retired in 1962, and then co-founded United Scholarships, Inc., in Yreka to help needy high school graduates attend the college of their choice.


Ravenscroft was inducted into the Kansas State High School Activities Association Hall of Fame in 1990, the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1993 and the Newton High School Athletic Hall of Fame in 1995.