Football coach shares struggles.
Mike Riley is an easy guy to pull for.
Mike was the best Pac12 coach to work for as an official. He rarely argued, never swore, and treated us with respect. If he disagreed on a call, the worst he would say was "Jack, you might want to take a look at the video of that one." - he was often correct! :)
Another one of your very touching columns John. Well done. Prayers for Mike & Dee Riley.
JC, your best writing is when you write about humanity. You have a deft touch at getting into peoples hearts. Mike Riley is setting an example for all of us. Best to Coach Riley, Dee, and their entire family.
As I noted on my FB page, I've read great, good, and not-so-good sports columnists going back 65 years to Pulitzer winning Jim Murray at the LA Times. Canzano's near the top of that list, as this piece demonstrates. We'll all deal with dementia, if we're lucky enough to live long enough. Mike Riley, besides being a pretty good football coach, is a teacher, and bringing that mental health challenge into his locker room, for his players to learn from, is something truly special.
John, a terrific read. I'm a Duck fan through and through. But like Jeff Wohler, I root for the Beavs except when they play the Ducks. Rooting for Mike and Dee with no exceptions. Good people.
Best wishes and prayers for Coach Riley and Dee.
Mike Riley is a great guy. I knew his dad, Bud, here in Penticton, BC. Mike always arranged for tickets when I’d go see Utah play in Corvallis. Nothing but the best wishes for Mike and Dee as they face this challenge.
I coached one of the club sports at OSU when Riley was still coaching the football team. One day he showed up in Truax with his grandson. Seeing we were using the field, he came over, called me “coach,” and very politely asked if it was possible for him to use a little bit of the field to toss a football around with his grandson. The idea that he’d so kindly ask and refer to me as “coach” even though it was just a club sports program was just crazy to me. The guy was as nice as they come and the players he brought in were always class acts (one of them stopped to ask if I needed a ride home when we had a ton of snow!). I’m so sorry to hear about Dee and hope for the best for the Riley family.
Best to Dee and Mike.
Mike Riley is a great Oregonian who we should all be proud of regardless of our university affiliations. Wish him and his family the best as they pass through this season of their lives.
John, this is why I subscribe to your column, great personal insight to one of Oregon States greatest coaches ❤️
I'm a Duckhonk, and I have always been a big Mike Riley fan. Class act. Without exception.
My pop had dementia. Wasn't that which took his life, officially. It was the broken hip from a fall, leading to pneumonia because whilst a hip can be repaired recovery requires active participation by the patient. Still, he had great innings.
Thanks for writing about this, JC. And Happy Easter to you and yours.
Add me to the list of Ducks who root for Mike Riley, and here is another, no-surprise-reason, to do so. Godspeed Mike and Dee in this challenge.
Mike Riley is a highlight of Oregon sports. The real deal for the right reasons.