Corvallis Coaching Legend
All across the Internet, site after site, there is a commonalty in respects to the Corvallis training fable, Mike Riley. “He is the best cat in college football.” Although, he is no longer head manager at Oregon State, there are still leftovers of his impact everyplace on campus, particularly at the Valley Football offices. Here there is wall, which pictures him along with his celebrated quotation mark “Hip Hip Hooray” written across the underside. There seems to be a ceaseless list people ; current participants, former participants, managers or anyone that has come in contact with him would vouch for this statement. The truth of the affair is that it was non Riley himself, but alternatively a athletics media broadcaster Jim Rome who said this great statement about Coach Riley during an interview that he conducted during the 2012 season. Coach Riley may be referred to as the best cat in college football but besides could be know as one of the top managers in the game of football regardless the degree of drama. Two former managers on Mike Riley’s staff, Jay Locey and Gary Beck, assisted me with the information to compose this paper, as both work forces were witness to bulk of the old ages Coach Riley spent in Corvallis
Born in Wallace, Idaho, as Michael Joseph “Mike” Riley, Coach Riley was immediately launched into the universe of football. He spent his life as the boy of a collegiate helper manager and Canadian Football League caput manager. Riley spent a important sum of his childhood traveling from topographic point to topographic point. His household made Michigans in Lewiston and Moscow before eventually geting in Corvallis in 1965 when his male parent, Bud Riley, took an assistant-coaching occupation here at Oregon State University. While many could state Coach Riley had a migratory childhood, his factual place of birth and where he spent the first 12 old ages of his life was in Idaho. However, despite passing most of his adolescent life at that place, he considers the little college town of Corvallis, Oregon as his hometown. It was here that Riley would travel on to attended junior high and high school.
During his first term of office here in Corvallis, Coach Riley grew into some kind of a hero in Corvallis from his playing yearss at Corvallis High School. Riley led his Spartans to consecutive province rubric games completing his high school calling 1 and 1. Fortunately, I was able to catch up with one of Coach Riley’s old high school teammates, Jay Locey, who was an adjunct manager for many old ages under Riley at Oregon State. Coach Locey has since moved to Lewis and Clark University where he is the caput football manager. Talking with Jay, I asked what his first initial idea would be of Coach Riley, when thought of him back in high school. Coach Locey Replied “Legend… He was something this town had ne’er seen before.” That’s a batch to be said coming from a adult male who was after all, a three-sport jock and a fable himself here at Oregon State in Football and Baseball.
Following his bequest at Corvallis High School, Coach Riley passed up the chance to go on his college calling in the Pac-8, to play for the Alabama Crimson Tide and legendary caput manager Paul “Bear” Bryant. This lay waste toing determination left the metropolis of Corvallis “in a sense of disbelief” harmonizing to Coach Gary Beck. Till this twenty-four hours, Coach Beck has non left the metropolis of Corvallis and recalls Coach Riley’s determination to go forth the Pacific North West and non play for the Oregon State Beavers was, “a determination that came from left field. Cipher and I mean cipher for one minute thought that Mikey would go forth Corvallis after the ill fame he gained while playing at CHS” ( Beck ) . Particularly sing that at this clip his male parent was still the helper football manager for OSU. During his four old ages at Alabama, Coach Riley served as a modesty cornerback for the squad, non precisely seeing the field really much. Both Coach Locey and Coach Beck agreed Mike might hold regretted that determination ; Coach Beck even went on to state, “even the adult male himself might state you it was one of the smartest yet dense determination he of all time made… He was on a squad with a legendary manager, but he ne’er ‘played’ for a legendary manager, there’s a immense difference there” ( Beck ) .
Coach Riley finally left Alabama and refocused on his training calling, get downing with accepting a alumnus place at the University of California Berkley. From there he so moved onto Whitworth College, located in Spokane, Washington where he reason his Masterss degree. After Whitworth, Coach Riley and Coach Locey were reunited, to be on the same squad as managers. Coach Riley was hired as the defensive coordinator and secondary manager at Linfield College, the same topographic point in which Coach Locey was the Offensive Coordinator. Coach Locey recalls Coach Riley, as “ the meanest cat in Corvallis” , he said as he laughed. He goes on to state, “Coach Riley was in front of the coaching curve when he arrived at Linfield. He ran a NFL manner defence with childs who were less than invested in their football career… He’s a football genius” ( Locey ) .
Coach Locey every bit good as Coach Beck both declined to talk any further on the times that Coach Riley had spent coaching at other topographic points prior to geting in Corvallis. “As a adult male in his place, what he did in his yesteryear as a manager is his and that organization’s concern, non mine, ” says Coach Locey ( Locey ) . However, it can be noted that Coach Riley spent clip in the Canadian Football League as an helper in 1983 for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. He was subsequently hired in 1987 by the same organisation as the caput manager where won two Grey Cups. Subsequently on he was named manager of the San Antonio Riders, in the WLAF, which crashed before the squad could of all time play an official game. After seeing that autumn through, Coach Riley moved onto USC where he was named the Offensive Coordinator every bit good as adjunct caput manager.
Although they declined to talk on his twelvemonth off from Oregon State, Coach Locey and Coach Beck both had several words to state about Coach Riley’s continuance in Corvallis that stretched over 14 old ages. Each remembering specific times, occasions, and old ages in which they realized that Coach Riley was one time once more “the best cat in college football.”
Coach Riley’s clip, as the Beavers’ caput manager would come in two different stretchs. Coach Riley arrived in Corvallis in the summer of 1997 once the old caput manager, Jerry Pettibone retired. Specifically directed at Coach Beck I asked what was the bombilation about town during the clip of the hire. Coach Beck responded “…Old Reser Stadium was filled, non one was available during the clip of Coach Riley’s debut imperativeness conference…” Beck went on to state me a narrative of the first cantonment Coach Riley held that really same summer. He said “kids all across Oregon made the thrust to Corvallis…they wanted to play for the ‘Corvallis Legend’ ( Beck ) .
Coach Riley finally left Oregon State after merely two seasons with the Beavers, when the NFL’s San Diego Chargers hired him as their caput manager. Coach Locey declined to talk on what talk was go oning about town during the clip saying, “everybody’s feelings towards Coach Riley was common, we were done” ( Locey ) . That marked the 2nd clip in Coach Riley’s life-time he had ditched Corvallis for the possibility of a better offer. Merely passing three seasons with the Chargers before he was fired, Beck described the state of affairs as “the best thing that could hold happened to Oregon State Football since the upstart of the program” ( Beck ) . However, Riley would non return to Corvallis until 2003 after passing one season with the New Orleans Saints. “This was something no one of all time saw coming” Coach Locey said. “I received a phone call from Coach Riley and all I could retrieve him stating was ‘Jay… I’m coming home, it’s time.”
Upon Coach Riley’s return, the Oregon State Football Program was less than ideal. Prior to his reaching, the plans winning per centum was far below 50 per centum. Coach Beck called Coach Riley “a legend” for one ground and one ground merely, “he won games systematically during his time” ( Beck ) . Coach Riley complied a record of 88 and 73, more wins than the plan antecedently had in its history. He besides won a sum of 6 Bowl Games, which was more than the sum of trips the plan had of all time made to these games in the yesteryear. Coach Locey said, “Coach Riley was a savior to this plan. He came here and merely won games for us… This plan is bigger than Oregon State ; it’s what fuels the metropolis of Corvallis. He brought the metropolis back to life” ( Locey ) .
Coach Locey, who was subsequently hired by Coach Riley in 2005, told me a narrative that signified everything Coach Riley represented as a adult male every bit good as a manager. The narrative starts as the Beavers were waiting to play the supporting National Champions, the USC Trojans, here in Corvallis. Coach Locey stated “the full squad was scared, managers included… They were the biggest and meanest squad in the nation” ( Locey ) . However, Coach Riley thought otherwise, he saw his Beaver state State Football squad as “Giant Killers” , a celebrated term that has surrounded the plan since the decision of the imperativeness conference at the terminal of this game. Coach Riley led his squad to a unchallenged triumph against the Trojans, crushing them 33 to 31. When asked how he found the bravery to crush the Trojans halting their 27-game winning run in the so Pac-10, Coach Locey said, “He did what no manager would make bold to do” ( Locey ) . Riley proceeded to stand up from the tabular array, entered the cabinet room and grabbed each of the get downing units of the squad. He so brought each of them back to the tabular array and told the newsmans “Its because of them, non me, them! ”
Not to stain Coach Riley’s bequest as a professional Coach, I asked both Coach Locey and Coach Beck a instead personal inquiry that was directed towards Coach Riley’s calling. During Coach Riley’s clip as Oregon States Head Coach, he has ne’er one time had a starting signal caller of ethnicity other than Caucasic. There is some stereotypes in the universe of football that claim that white males tend to be the smartest and best suited for the place. I asked both Locey and Beck what their idea were on why this was instance with Coach Riley and his plan but both Coaches one time once more requested non to be on this topic. Bing a former participant of Coach Riley, it has ever been a kind of enigma as to why that has been the instance. Not to oppugn Coach Riley’s unity as a adult male, the guesss of this topic continuously looms throughout the Oregon State Program.
Coach Riley has since moved on from Oregon State University and Corvallis, as he has taken the caput training place at the University of Nebraska Lincoln. As Coach Beck said, “Coach Riley will ever be a living fable here in Corvallis regardless of where he coaches” and I agree ( Beck ) . Besides, who knows, there are guesss in the air that Coach Riley could reemerge to Corvallis in the hereafter as the schools Head Athletic Director. His married woman Dee, girl Kate, and grandson Elijah who all still reside in Corvallis, merely back up such rumours as to why Mike Riley might one twenty-four hours make up one’s mind come to place, for the 3rd and concluding clip.
Locey, Jay, and Gary Beck. “ Mike Riley as a Coach. ” Personal interview. 03 Mar. 2015.