Mike Riley, one of the most respected men at any level in football, is in his third season as Nebraska head coach in 2016. Riley, the second most experienced FBS coach behind Alabama’s Nick Saban , leads the nebraska program with a veteran and constant presence. Riley is in his 43rd season overall as a coach in 2017 and his 26th year as head coach, including 17 in the collegiate ranks. He also has nine years as a professional head coach, second among current FBS head coaches. Riley surpassed the 100-win plateau during the 2016 season and will enter the 2017 campaign with a 108-91 record at the collegiate level. Since he took over the Nebraska program, Riley has immersed himself in the tradition of Cornhusker football, while working to build the program to a championship level. After an early season that featured a string of tough losses, the 2016 Riley Huskers made leaps and bounds in the wins department, posting a 9-4 record, including a 6-3 mark in Big Ten play. . The Huskers’ four-win improvement in the 2016 regular season was the third-most in the 127-year history of Nebraska football. His 9-3 regular season record tied for the best season of Riley’s collegiate coaching career and marked Nebraska’s 50th nine-win season in school history. Riley also led Nebraska to their highest rank in the college football playoff poll (10th) and the program’s highest AP rank (No. 7) in six seasons. he also helped the Huskers finish second in the Big Ten West, a division that featured five bowl entrants. Riley led Nebraska to five wins over bowl teams in 2016, and a win over a ranked opponent, while guiding Nu to its first undefeated season at Memorial Stadium since 2012. The win over nationally ranked Oregon marked his win number 16 over a ranked opponent in his college career. Nebraska’s overall record in 2015 did not live up to Riley’s expectations for his freshman year, however signs of progress were evident throughout the season, particularly during an impressive late-season run. Nebraska’s 6-7 record included four losses on the opponent’s last offensive play, and all seven losses came by an average of 4.7 points, including four losses by three points or fewer. the shellers recorded four wins over bowling teams and defeated an opponent who finished the season with double-digit wins. none of the other 28 first-year head coaches in nebraska history accomplished any of those feats, while nu’s 39-38 win over world no. 6 from Michigan State marked the highest-ranked opponent a first-year husker head coach had beaten. The victory was the Huskers’ first win over a top 10 opponent in four seasons and marked only the third time in Nebraska football history that an unranked Husker team defeated a top 10 foe. Riley’s first season culminated with A 37-29 win over UCLA in the Foster Frams Bowl at Levi’s Stadium. Riley became the fourth Husker coach to win a bowl game in his debut season, while notching his seventh overall bowl win. Riley’s .700 career bowl winning percentage ranks as one of the best marks in the nation among coaches with at least five appearances in bowl games. Riley took over the Husker football program after 12 seasons as head coach at Oregon State and 14 seasons overall at Corvallis. Riley also had previous experience at the highest level of soccer, serving as the head coach of the San Diego Chargers for three seasons, while also spending time in the Canadian Soccer League and World Soccer League.
In his time at Oregon State, Riley built the Beaver program into a consistent winner and regular competitor in the Pac-12 conference. Riley had an overall record of 93-80 as the Beavers’ head coach. Riley began the Oregon Statewide Rejuvenation Program in his two-year stint in 1997 and 1998. He returned to Corvallis and has led the beavers to unprecedented heights over the past 12 years.
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riley owns the most wins in oregon state history with 93, while leading the program to eight bowl appearances. Oregon State was ranked in the top 25 by the Associated Press for 28 weeks, and Riley has coached players who have earned 32 All-American honors. Riley had 32 NFL draft picks at OSU, including first-round picks by Steven Jackson (2004) and Brandin Cooks (2014).
Prior to accepting the job at Nebraska, Riley was the longest tenured coach in the Pac-12 and held the seventh head coaching spot in the FBS ranks. His resume shines with accomplishments as a coach.
riley was the 2008 american football coaches association (afca) coach of the year, pac-10 conference and oregon state coach of the year, and his teams have appeared in the final rankings of the top 25 of the associated press three times in the past eight seasons. In 2012 he was elected coach of the year of the AFCA region.
Riley, 63, posted a 6-2 record in bowling games with the Beavers. Riley laid the groundwork for Oregon State in his first two years on campus in 1997 and 1998. Riley took over a program that was in the throes of 26 consecutive losing seasons and quickly changed the culture in Corvallis. After Riley left for the NFL, Oregon State made three postseason appearances.
riley is the first coach in osu history to win more than one ncaa-sanctioned bowl game at osu, capturing the 2003 las vegas bowl, the 2004 vision bowl, the 2006 and 2008 Sun Bowls, the 2007 Emerald Bowl and the 2013 Emerald Bowl titles of the Hawaii Bowls. He was also the first coach to lead the program to more than one conference-winning season since 1969, and Riley accomplished the feat six times.
riley returned to the beavers bench for the second time in 2003 and led the team to the las vegas bowl title over new mexico. The team set numerous individual and team records, and led the Pac-10 in both offense and defense. Success immediately followed in the recruiting process, as the state of Oregon signed the best recruiting class in the school’s history the following February.
The 2004 team played one of the toughest schedules in the nation en route to a 7-5 record, capped off by a strong finish to the season. Osu defeated Oregon in the annual Civil War Showdown and capped off the year with a 38-21 victory over Notre Dame in the Insight Bowl. The Beavers closed out the 2004 campaign by winning six of their last seven games.
After a 5-6 season in 2005, Riley’s 2006 team was the second team in school history to win at least 10 games. The Beavers have won eight of their last nine games, including a win over world no. 3 usc to end Trojans’ 27-game pac-10 game streak.
osu also ended a long winning streak at hawai’i’s aloha stadium and capped off the year with a thrilling 39-38 win over missouri in the sun bowl. The Beavers finished third in the Pac-10, just one game behind co-winners USC and California, and finished the year ranked No. 21st in the final app survey.
Like many members of Riley’s team, the 2007 team continued to improve throughout the season, winning seven of the last eight games en route to a 9-4 record. the beavers won at no. 2 out of California during the season and also earned a win out of 18th out of Oregon. Osu’s defense was the first nationally against the run and he led the nation in tackles for loss. The Beavers capped the year with a victory over Maryland in the Emerald Bowl and finished No. 25 in the associated press poll.
many expected the 2008 season to be a rebuilding year for riley and a young castor team. However, Osu tied for second in the Pac-10 with a 7-2 record and finished 9-2 overall. The success came despite playing one of the toughest schedules in the country that featured three teams playing in BCS Bowls.
The highlight of the 2008 season was a 27-21 win over then-no. 1 usc in a thursday night duel in corvallis. Oregon State capped the year with a victory over Pittsburgh in the Sun Bowl and finished No. 18th in the AP poll and 19th in the USA Today coaches poll.
in 2009, riley and his staff had the difficult task of replacing nearly every starter on defense and a total of seven nfl recruits. The Beavers not only qualified for a bowl game, but for the second year in a row they played the season finale with a chance to make it to the Rose Bowl. a league-high seven Beavers earned first-team all-pac-10 honors.
The 2010 team posted a 5-7 record, but finished the year with a pair of wins over the top 25 teams. OSU defensive tackle Stephen Paea (DT) won the Morris Trophy for the second time, awarded to the best defensive lineman in the conference. Jacquizz Rodgers won PAC-10 first-team honors for the third straight season to become only the third PAC-10 running back to win all-league first-team honors three times.
After a 3-9 season in 2011, Riley’s 2012 team was chosen to finish last in the Pac-12 North, but went 6-3 in the league and 9-4 overall. the team was ranked in the press poll associated with a school record 12 consecutive weeks, even as high as no. 7. The Beavers opened the year with wins over world no. 13 Wisconsin and no. 19 ucla, and posted the third-best record in the conference behind a pair of bcs bowl teams.
In 2013, the Beavers won six straight, defeating Boise State in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl to finish the season with a 7-6 record. Wide receiver Brandin Cooks became the second Beaver to win the coveted Biletnikoff Award as the nation’s most outstanding wide receiver. The Cooks broke the Pac-12 record for single-season receptions (128) and yards (1,760). The season also featured record-breaking quarterback Sean Mannion, who broke the league record for passing yards (4,662).
In Riley’s last season at Oregon State, the Beavers went 5-7. the highlight of the season was a win over then-no. 7 arizona state in corvallis in mid november. That win continued Riley’s trend of wins over highly-ranked opponents, as his OSU teams defeated 13 top-25 teams, including three wins over No. 3 or higher.
riley is committed to the total development of student-athletes. her teams are outstandingly successful in the classroom. In its past six years in Corvallis, the league has honored the Beavers for academic achievement 70 times.
riley’s pro-style approach to how he manages the program has paid off for players who have had successful professional careers.
Riley’s pro-style approach to how he manages the program has paid off for players who have had successful professional careers. More than 20 former Beavers who were coached by Riley were in the NFL in 2015, including quarterbacks Matt Moore (Miami), Derek Anderson (Carolina) and Sean Mannion (Rams), running backs Steven Jackson (New England) and Jacquizz Rodgers (Chicago), wide receivers Brandin Cooks (New Orleans) and Markus Wheaton (Pittsburgh) and defensive back Brandon Browner (New Orleans). Anderson, Jackson and Browner have earned Pro Bowl honors.
In his first stint at Oregon State after the 1998 season, Riley passed up the opportunity to become the head coach of the San Diego Chargers of the National Football League. He spent four years in the NFL, three seasons as the Chargers’ head coach and the 2002 campaign as the New Orleans Saints’ assistant head coach.
riley also had previous professional coaching experience in both the Canadian soccer league and world soccer league. In 1987, Riley was named the youngest head coach in CFL history, taking charge of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers at the age of 33. He posted a 40-32 record with the organization and won Gray Cup titles in 1988 and 1990. He was the CFL Coach of the Year both seasons and was inducted into the Winnipeg Hall of Fame in 2007.
in 1991, riley took over the san antonio cyclists of the world soccer league and spent two seasons before the league suspended operations in north america.
He returned to the collegiate ranks in 1993 when then USC head coach John Robinson offered him the job of offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Riley later became an assistant head coach. The Mesa Tribune (Ariz.) named him the best assistant coach in the league in 1993 after leading the Trojans’ offense to record numbers. USC quarterback Rob Johnson held numerous Pac-10 and NCAA records, and would go on to become a first-round pick.
riley stayed at usc through the 1996 season, helping the trojans to victories in the rose, cotton and freedom bowls. USC won one outright league title, shared another and finished second once.
riley had a long history in corvallis, pray. born in wallace, idaho, but riley grew up with beaver football, as his father, bud, was an assistant coach for the program from 1965 to 1972 and again in 1979. mike was a standout quarterback at corvallis high school, which He led the Spartans to the 1970 state title.
riley had a successful college career at the university of alabama, playing for legendary coach paul “bear” bryant. He played cornerback from 1971 to 1974, helping win four Southeastern Conference titles and the 1973 national championship.
riley immediately went on to coach after graduating from alabama. His first stop was as Mike White’s defensive graduate assistant coach at the University of California in 1975. He helped the Bears achieve an 8-3 record and share the Pacific-8 Conference title.
riley continued her education and training in 1976 at whitworth college in spokane, washington. He completed his master’s degree in physical education in 1977 while working for popular Pacific Northwest coach and future Canadian Football League legend Hugh Campbell.
riley’s first full-time position was at naia powerhouse linfield college in mcminnville, oregon. from 1977 to 1982 he served as the program’s defensive coordinator and secondary coach, as well as assistant athletic director. Riley helped head coach Ad Rutschman’s Wildcats to a six-year record of 52-7-1, which included five conference titles and the undefeated NAIA title in 1982.
The opportunity to coach through the professional ranks presented itself in 1983, and Riley was on his way to the CFL’s Winnipeg Blue Bombers as a secondary coach. During his three years as an assistant, Winnipeg produced a 32-15-1 record and won the 1984 Gray Cup title.
Riley returned to the collegiate level in 1986 as an assistant coach at the University of Northern Colorado, before returning to the Blue Bombers.
Riley’s respect in the profession is evident in the fact that he has been the head coach for three postseason all-star games: the hula bowl, the east-west shrine game, and the classic blue-gray all-star game. .
mike and his wife dee are the parents of a son, matthew, and a daughter, kate. They also have a grandson, Elijah Jo. Matthew is a graduate of OSU and is currently employed by the University of Texas. kate graduated from osu in 2011 and also resides in corvallis.
mike has two brothers; Edward Riley is a physician and associate professor at Stanford University School of Medicine, and Pete Riley is a scientist at the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
riley’s profile DOB: July 6, 1953 family: wife, dee; son, matthew; daughter kate; Grandson, Elijah Jo Education: Alabama, BA Social Sciences, 1975; whitworth college, masters in physical education, 1977 playing experience: 1971-74, alabama, cornerback
coaching experience2015-present: nebraska, head coach 2003-14: oregon state, head coach 2002: new orleans saints, assistant/secondary head coach 1999-2001: chargers San Diego, Head Coach 1997-98: Oregon State, Head Coach 1993-96: USC, Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator/QBs 1991-92: San Antonio Riders (WLAF), Head Coach 1987 -90: Winnipeg Blue Bombers (CFL), head coach 1986: Northern Colorado, defensive coordinator 1983-85: Winnipeg Blue Bombers (CFL), high school coach 1977-82: Linfield College, defensive coordinator/high school 1976: Whitworth College , graduate assistant 1975: california, graduate assistant (defense)
head coach recordnebraska career record: 15-11 (2 seasons), 1-1 in bowl games oregon state career record: 93-80 (14 seasons ) 1997-98: 8-14 (2 seasons) 2003-14: 85-66 (12 seasons); 8 bowl appearances (6-2)
San Diego Chargers 1999-2001: 14-34 (3 seasons) San Antonio Riders 1991-92: 11-9 (2 seasons)
winnipeg blue bombers 1987-90: 40-32 (4 seasons); 2 gray cup championships