Freshman/Sophmore year I didn't have a lot of friends, but Mr. Riley always let me and a few others come have lunch with him in his office, where we would discuss technology, history, politics, and so many other topics. He always made us feel welcome, even though that was his time to enjoy his lunch and unwind. He gave us a safe space to discuss things that were important to us. He will truly be missed, but never forgotten.
I remember Mr. Riley when I was a Freshman or Sophomore taking his computer classes. He was an asset to the LaSalle community. My condolences to Mr. Riley’s family. He will be dearly missed.
I have many fond memories of Coach Riley, and the rest of the coaches and my fellow athletes at La Salle. What an amazing four seasons of my life I spent with you all. Thanks for putting up this wall - Coach Riley deserves the fondest of send-offs. Best wishes to the La Salle track and field team.
I will always remember Mr. Riley as a patient and kind teacher. He encouraged me to come out for the track team and while I decided not to stick with it at the time, I thought of him many years later when I finally caught the running bug. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and the La Salle community.
--Jennifer (Pittman) Corcoran
Not only was Coach Riley a great coach, but even more so a great person. He treated everyone, whether on the track or in the classroom, with nothing but respect. He coached with integrity and pushed his athletes to achieve more than they thought they could. One instance that has always stuck out to me was at league finals when Serra dropped the baton during the 4X100 relay, and did not advance to CIF and all of the coaches in the league wanted to lie and put Serra through to CIF because they were a state title contender. Coach Riley being the man of strong integrity that he is, opposed, because he knew it wasn't right, legal, or fair to do this. Coach Riley held not only his own athletes to a standard of integrity, but also all of the people around him. His principles were transcended to his athletes on the track and into our lives off the track. Every time I saw Coach Riley he always had a smile on his face. He always had something encouraging or joking to say, always something pleasant or constructive. Competing in any sport would be difficult without great coaches with great attitudes and coaching ability, and Coach Riley made my four years of track and field at La Salle a very pleasant and rewarding experience. I have only fond memories of Coach Riley and I will forever be thankful for the ways that he has contributed to my life.
Coach Riley has done more for me than I could possibly have imagined. Through my time on the Track and Field team and in his computer information class, he brightened my life and helped to grow the values in me which he expected of himself. He helped me see my own potential when I couldn’t. He was more than just Coach, he was larger than life. Coach Riley helped fuel my passion for running, and I will always remember my first year of Track with him as the best there ever was. There are many warm memories I have of him, especially of his humor. I will always cherish the name he gave me, Big Joe from Cocomo. I will never forget the time that I shared with him. I’m so grateful that he was my friend and mentor. As Big Joe from Cocomo, I will always honor his legacy and memory. Jehovah God promised to see our loved ones on the resurrection day. I know I will see Coach Riley again. John 5:28.
A great coach, a great teacher and a great Mentor. I will miss you Mr. Riley, forever in my heart.
Rest In Peace, Coach Riley. You touched thousands of young lives and made a great impact in society.
I think we were your first class when you started...La Salle 1993-1997...fond memories of Mr. Riley..prayers for his family.
Rest In Peace Fred. It was great to have you as a teacher, but even greater to have you as a colleague and friend. You will be missed.
--Phillip Rafael Velasco
Mr. Riley made his computing courses challenging and fun. Skills learned in his class formed the basis of computing techniques necessary for my livelihood to this day. He was an inspiring Track & Field coach. Praying God will raise him up and comfort his family.
Mr. Riley always managed to make me smile no matter how my day was going. He was kind, witty and down to earth. A truly good man and mentor. He will be greatly missed.
I learned from him as a coach and teacher but the most valuable lesson I learned was the importance of looking for the unseen potential of youth and adults and challenging them to take risks. You challenged me to run track and it was one of the best experiences I had in high school. Love to the Riley Family.
Never a dull moment with Coach Riley. Had the best time with him freshman year. Sending love to the family.
I will always remember his positive and uplifting spirits.
--Isabelle Huang Wright
I remember the first day you started coaching Track and Field like it was yesterday. Thank you for putting in all the time and effort with me. You made me shine! The records I held when I was healthy and even through my injuries you made me shine. I thank you for being you. My records should have your name next to them. Thank you and May God bless your family. He was a great person.
A fine coach, excellent teacher, and a great man.
23 years ago, I met a truly wonderful man. He's been my friend, he's been a mentor, and he's been like a father to me. Fred Riley has brought joy and love - and don't forget those "crocodile tears" - to so many people for so many years. He saw the champion in all of us, and for those of us brave enough to see the path ahead through his eyes, we found in ourselves a person so extraordinary our lives were forever changed.
Below is a picture from our first year of coaching together. Front and center is Duane Norris, and from L to R are Jim McConnon, Fred Riley, Joe Blackman, myself, and Kevin Delaney.
Back in 2004, he wrote me a letter of recommendation for college and shortly thereafter I was accepted to New York University's Tisch School of the Arts where I received my BFA in film and tv. I moved from Pasadena to New York City and my whole life changed because of him. I have been forever grateful.
I seriously doubt that I'd be successfully writing technical documentation for developers if it weren't for Mr. Riley. When it became clear that I had little to learn from his computer science class (which taught us about using Word documents and spreadsheets--useful skills, but ones that weren't entirely new to me), he started giving me programming puzzles to solve. I worked on them at night on the black and white Atari I'd used as a kid. He taught me to dig in and play with code rather than fearing it: an invaluable lesson. He treated us as people rather than as children, and I'll never forget him.
He gave me what I believe was my first ever detention for forgetting my computer book to class. I wasn't happy at the time, but it taught me a lesson in being prepared.
Such an incredible coach - sending love and prayers.
--Mary Jo Pruitt
What an awesome coach and great man!
--Rachelle Renee Garmon
Great Coaches are hard to find.
--Jack Reid III
Greatest coach I ever had. Prayers are with Fred and his family.
Coach Riley was the one who interviewed me during the application process, and I still remember that as being such an enjoyable experience.
Great man, great coach. Rest In Peace Coach Riley.
God bless coach! Always treated me with respect. Thank you.
He had big Werner Garciano shoes to fill, and he did an amazing job with us. I credit Coach Riley and Coach Norris with my BA choice. Definitely sending my love to him and his family.
Coach Riley made a huge impact on every single person he worked with over the years. He will be greatly missed by so many. It's our turn to carry on his high standard of excellence and mentorship to others in our community.
Rest In Peace Coach, I think of you every time I type on a keyboard.
Fred came to La Salle during my last year or so, and it was so clear to me from the beginning that he was a man who personified integrity, class and grace. A teacher's teacher, and such a wonderful example to the young men and women privileged to be a part of his class, team or student group. Prayers for Fred and his family...
Fred Riley was one of the good guys, for sure. You will be missed, Fred ❤ 💙 ❤ 💙 ❤
A colleague, teacher, coach, mentor, a Lasallian and my friend. Rest with God Fred.
COACH RILEY'S WALL
Tributes to Coach Riley...
--Javier R. Guzmán
I love this picture, also! His smile and laughter. Rest in Peace, Fred!
Nice nice man!
Thank you, Coach!!
This page is dedicated to Mr. Riley. Coach Riley made a positive and lasting impact on thousands of students and athletes over the years. His dedication, high standards, caring nature, and sense of humor touched us all. If you have a memory, a picture, or a note you would like to share on this wall, please email them to Joe Blackman at firstname.lastname@example.org, and they will be added to this page.
UPDATED March 10, 2019
Auntie Joyce M. Riley and Uncle Fred kept this magnet on their refrigerator since I was little. If you can't tell by the look in our eyes, we loved hard!
Rest in peace to a really great man! May God grant peace and comfort to his family!
I'll never forget learning Visual Basic from Mr. Riley. Great teacher and how could anyone ever forget him telling us to "not de-ball the mouse". Too bad kids today won't even understand what that means 😩. Rest In Peace Mr. Riley.
A big loss for the community. Was such a positive teacher and influence!
Coach Riley was the best! He was an amazing man and friend. Thank you coach.
I never saw him without a smile on his face...a kind and thoughtful gentleman!
So glad I had the chance to know him.. amazing man.
Mr. Riley was such an incredible coach, but even more a kind and beautiful person. I'll always remember only the best about him. He positively affected so many people in his time. He will be greatly missed.
To a very accomplished man. We are very fortunate to have had the luxury of Mr. Riley's excellent teaching habits. He was a tremendous teacher, individual, and mentor. I am deeply saddened as well as many others in our LaSallian Community. He has taught us well through the classroom and all that he offered. May God bless Mr. Riley as he remains in heavenly peace. He will never be forgotten.
Thank you Coach Riley for being a wonderful teacher, coach and leader for my boys.
Such an inspirational man. Always pushing others to be their best and surpass any obstacle.
Always advised not to try and run a sub-second half split. Go out strong and you will be able to achieve more because, by the end, you are always spent. Mr. Riley always "went out strong" and achieved, oh so much. Taken too soon but used every moment that he had to the fullest. I will miss his humor, his laugh, his even keel, his smile, and his passion for the success of those under his care. Mr. Riley, yours was a race well run.
Coach Riley was a very good man and made a lot of positive impact along his journey. The pictures say it all because I always remember him smiling! God Bless him and his family.
--Ryan E. Garcia
Coach Riley is one of the few truly memorable teachers I had at La Salle, and the greatest coach we could have had. He will be truly missed.
One of the all time greats! You will be truly missed!!!
Today I was copying a document into Word and couldn't help but think about having 1/2 of a paper ream box lid covering my keyboard. Go with God, Mr Riley.
I've been driving La Salle's Track and Field and Cross Country athletes and coaches around for over 20 years. So many miles, so many faces over the years. Great kids with big hearts; and even bigger hearts in all the coaches!! So many great stories told on the way to or from a meet. All the silly talk and laughter along the miles, especially on those long trips.
Best Coaches Ever! (But really friends). But how could they not be the best, with the Best as their lead: Fred. Its been a privilege my friend. ❤
When I was 15 years old Coach Fred Riley introduced me to the track and to my own strength. Through meets, practices, and more I remember much of what he taught me -- how not to get knocked down in an over-packed heat, how to run your own race, how to run through the finish, how to lean into the pain that makes you stronger.
16 years ago, I didn't attend my high school graduation, because I competed in a Masters track meet that he helped me qualify for. Instead of a graduation speech, it was Coach Riley's voice I heard calling my name from the 200m mark telling me to lift my knees and lean into the turn, "Go Gina." My only Black teacher in high school, Coach Riley initiated me into a world where Black girls were strong and won things. This was a gift more important than I have words to express. And the send off he gave me that spring 16 years ago helped catapult me forward into life like no diploma ceremony ever could have.
Last night I dreamt about him. Today I learned he passed away. I wish so much that I could have had the chance to tell him what he meant to me and so many of us before he left sooner than I would have imagined. Rest in peace, Coach Riley. Thank you for believing we were capable of more than we could ever dream of on our own.
I'll never forget when I had cancer, Coach Riley made shirts that said "We run for Nicole." Well coach, today I run, pray, and breathe for you!
During my first three years at La Salle, I was typing my papers with a typewriter. My first real exposure to computers was in Mr. Riley's class. It was so brand new to me - I was kind of embarrassed, and felt like I was going to be behind the rest of the class from the start since it was all so foreign to me. But he made the subject so approachable. His class was always substantive without being stressful. I thank him immensely for teaching me how to problem solve, and giving me an approach to learning computer science that I still use today.
Freshman year at La Salle I was at loose ends at what to do as an afterschool activity. Parents could not pick me up until 5:00 pm so I pretty much just sat in the library. As a fluke I decided to go out for the track team. Once I got out there I was so nervous that instead of trying out I asked to work as a team manager. And that is how I ended up spending more time in Coach Riley’s presence than of any other teacher at La Salle.
He took me under his tutelage and showed me the ins and outs of track and field. Had me doing everything from setting up mats to painting lanes to hauling water to video-taping to judging and scoring. And then, halfway through my Junior year he got me out there, running and jumping too. Gave me an id and provided me a large amount of my most fondly held memories.
One stands out to me.
At the end of freshman year, the team had just wrapped up the last practice of the year. I was finishing dragging the high jump mats away and picking up and putting away the various cones and starting blocks. Coach asked me to hang around a bit afterward and walked out to his car. When he came back he had a light windbreaker in the school colors of red, blue and white with embroidery on the left chest spelling “La Salle Track and Field”. He then presented it to me telling me I deserved it. I cannot adequately express how much that jacket meant to me. I wore it nearly every day for the rest of my La Salle career. The white sleeves became gray. The red brown. No matter if it was 55 degrees and raining or 101 degrees and blazing I was wearing that jacket. I “loved” that jacket. It was my calling card, my connection and my school spirit. It was the symbol of all the late afternoons, early weekends and hard work I had gone through and would go through. It made me feel part of the team and showed me I was appreciated and trusted. It gave me a place. And I owe all that to Coach Riley.
He taught programming classes when I attended. Now I'm a software engineer.
Rest In Peace COACH! Hundreds of men and women are much better people because they had the unique opportunity to be coached by one of the best of All-Time in CIF Southern Section History and one of the best gentlemen I have ever come across! Thank you Coach Riley! We will miss you!
He's telling funny stories to make all the angels laugh. God bless you, Mr. Riley.
Such great memories with him in computers. Prayers to his family.
Fred Riley, a very generous and selfless person. God bless you Fred! For those of you who may remember during the season of Lent for close to 20 years now we raise money for our Lasallian Twinning School, Mount La Salle, Nigeria. Over the years, it has been a competition among classes known as the Penny Wars, Race 4 Change, and more recently, Mentor Mania. Fred was a very generous donor to the program, the past 3 years. Very Generous! With that said, we have renamed it "Riley's Race 4 Change". We are in the process of creating a perpetual plaque bearing Fred's name, a classic Fred picture, and Mount La Salle. The winning class will get their name on the plaque each year. In the first few days of collecting the students have been awesome. Keep it up Lancers. Thank you Fred.
You made me a better person, athlete and human being coach. Rest In Peace.
I will miss you and our conversations. You changed many lives.
RIP Coach Riley! As a parent of a LaSalle student/athlete I will share my feelings and memory. At the end of the sports season (Cross Country and Track and Field) there would be a team banquet. He would introduce each student/athlete and give a brief story or insight about the season and then give out an award or certificate. During this time period I could sense how much he really cared for all of the people in attendance and it always brought me such joy to listen to his words. He knew I loved to scream out when my daughter was introduced, "That's my Girl!" and encouraged me since I knew he was screaming for her as well. It was natural for him to want everyone to do their best in life and have fun and feel part of our LaSalle family. So in closing I will say I hope someone at the upcoming team banquet(s) will scream out for me "That's my Coach Riley!" and Smile as a tribute for me. Love,
PHOTO GALLERY 2 - Click on photos to enlarge
PHOTO GALLERY 1 - Click on photos to enlarge
Thank you to all who have contributed to this page. Your kind thoughts are much appreciated!
Memorial Service for Coach Riley - May 7, 2017
2016-17 saw the passing of a true Lasallian Teacher, Coach, and Parent, Mr. Fred Riley. When Mr. Riley joined La Salle in August, 1994, he was part of a group of twelve new teachers hired to replace the Christian Brothers who were called to work at other Lasallian schools. La Salle hired lay professionals to carry on the mission of St. John Baptist de La Salle. Mr. Riley was named Computer Education Department Chair and Head Coach for the boys and girls Track & Field program.
Mr. Riley’s philosophy was that any student can achieve in class and in sports when properly motivated. There is no substitute for hard work. He was proud of every student who came with an open mind and a desire to improve. Many La Salle graduates went into the fields of computer science and software development as a result of Riley’s creative teaching applications. So many students and staff enjoyed the film stories he created to teach audio-visual skills, with the revelation of the mysterious character Fullabull causing much surprise and intrigue around campus. Mr. Riley’s humor was a hallmark of his character, of a man who truly cared for and respected his students and athletes. One former student recalled, while visiting Mr. Riley in the hospital, that back in the 90’s Mr. Riley and his wife, Joyce, were their generation’s Obamas, setting the example for so many young people on how to lead successful lives and to have respect for themselves and others.
In athletics, there has been no coach more successful than Mr. Riley. His track program produced over 200 varsity event league champions, 22 team league titles, over 550 CIF event qualifiers, 219 CIF event finalists, 24 CIF event champions, numerous top ten CIF team finishes, two CIF team titles, and one CIF team runner-up title, all in a division made up of more than 150 schools. His athletes also earned 9 event spots at the State Championships, out of over 1400 schools in the state. After Riley took over the Cross Country program in 2007, he produced the school’s first State Champion, Daniel De La Torre.
In 2013, Riley was named the Pasadena Star-News Track and Field Coach of the Year. Prior to La Salle, Riley’s teams won a combined 15 league championships and a CIF Division Championship, plus two CIF Runner-Up titles, at Pius X High School, where he also coached State Champion in the 200 Meters, Gentry Bradley. His girls 4x400 Meter Relay team at Pius X set and held the CIF Division 4 record, until it was broken by his girls 4x400 Meter Relay team at La Salle.
Most important to Mr. Riley was his family, whom he cherished and loved. Mr. Riley credits his wife Joyce with encouraging him to start his career in education. His son Westley graduated from La Salle in 2007. Mr. Riley is survived by his wife, Joyce, his children, and grandchildren. Thank you, Mr. Riley, for all that you did for so many of us over the years!
More gallery photos below
2013 XC Girls CIF Academic Champions
2000, 2002 Girls CIF Champions
2005 Boys CIF Division IV Runner-ups
1974, 1975, 1977, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 Boys League Champions
1995, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2013, 2014, 2015 Girls League Champions