John Ralston, who had recently responded to a revolt by some members of the Denver Broncos by saying he would never quit as head coach of the National Football League team, resigned today.

The 49-year-old Ralston guided the Bam, resigned today.

The 49-year-old Ralston guided the Broncos to a 9-5 record last season, the best in the club's 17-year history. But he failed to deliver the playoff berth he promised the fans when he took the job early in 1972. In five years under him, Denver was 34-33-3.

"With wix weeks of working under the Denver Broncos reorganizational structure, I believe it is in the best interests of all concerned if I relinquish my duties of head coach effective immediately," said the former Stanford coach. "This will allow new general manager Fred Gehrke to bring in a coach of his own choosing."

Gehrke replaced Ralston as general manager in December, although Ralston said he would remain as head coach.

"I've never walked away from anything in my life, and I'm not a quitter," Ralston said on Dec. 16, when he announced his intention to remain with the Broncos despite a vote of no confidence from a group of dissident players and growing unrest among the fans.

Broncos coowner Allan R. Phipps said he had accepted Ralston's resignation "with great respect for the man submitting it. John Ralston has brought this franchise a long way in five years, and we are obviously a better football team than when he arrived.

"However, there are times when change is necessary and we obviously agree with John that the Denver Broncos are at that point." Phipps said the search for a new coach would begin immediately.

"Even though we fell short of our goal," Ralston said, the foundation is firmly established for my successor to move onward and upward."