Early on in life, Pete Riley learned that the coaching profession can take you places.

As a youngster, it took Riley to four different grade schools, two junior high schools and four high schools. And that was before Riley himself got into coaching.

Growing up without a hometown and as the son of a legendary coach (Bud Riley), it certainly was a unique childhood for Pete and his two older brothers, Ed and Mike.

"It was an extremely exciting childhood growing up as a professional coach's son," said Pete, the youngest of three brothers. "It also had its drawbacks. We basically moved every nine months for a few years."

LORI ASSA - The Daily Astorian

The younger brother of Oregon State head coach Mike Riley, Pete Riley has had a lengthy coaching career of his own.Pete Riley is currently in his fourth year as an assistant with the Astoria High football team; Mike is the head coach at Oregon State; and Bud "is a very relaxed, older gentleman now," said Pete.

The demeanors of the three may be different, but the passion for coaching runs strong in the Riley family. You can even go so far as to say coaching is synonymous with the Rileys.

In addition to Bud, Mike and Pete, there's also uncle Hayden Riley, who was a head basketball coach, baseball coach and athletic director at the University of Alabama - a connection which led Mike to play football for the legendary Paul 'Bear' Bryant from 1971-74.

And somewhere in the family tree, they're all related to the most famous Riley, NBA coach Pat Riley.

While Pat made a name for himself in sunny southern California, Bud and Mike labored up north, in the Canadian Football League.

Mike Riley

Bud Riley was the head coach at Winnipeg, Hamilton and Calgary, and also coached with Edmonton, Saskatchewan and Toronto (he is still the second-most famous 'Bud' to coach at Winnipeg, behind Hall of Famer Bud Grant); and Mike Riley spent three years as an assistant and four years as the head coach at Winnipeg, where he led the Blue Bombers to two Grey Cup titles (1988, 1990).

Bud RileyThere have been lots of fathers who have coached their sons, but in a rare occurrence, Pete spent one year (1987) at Winnipeg playing for Mike, the head coach.

The Riley's second-oldest brother, Ed, played college football at Whitworth, but never coached. Ed is now a Professor of Anesthesiology at Stanford University.

He missed out on life as a coach - which may not be such a bad thing. Lots of travel, late-night hours and film-watching eventually becomes your life. Pete will tell you that first hand.

"My dad coached with Dee Andros at Oregon State, and worked in Canada during the summer, guest-coaching with Edmonton," Pete recalls. "The man was always around football.

"I can remember going in with my dad during the summer in Winnipeg, sitting in his office in the pitch dark, and he's watching the old 8-millimeter game films. He's got the clicker going, and he's watching every half-step, just going back and forth.

"And I said, 'Bud ... what are you watching?'

"He said, 'I'm watching every one of our guys' first step, and each first step of the opposing players.' The thing about coaching, is that if you can stand watching films, you can coach.

"But I enjoyed being on the field. I enjoyed going to practices with my dad."

Bud had two coaching stints as an assistant at Oregon State (1965-72 and 1979), before he finished up in Canada.

Before joining the Beavers, Mike worked as a graduate assistant at California and Whitworth; spent six years as an assistant at Linfield; seven years at Winnipeg; two years as the head coach of the San Antonio Riders of the World League of American Football; three years as head coach of the San Diego Chargers; and one year as an assistant with the New Orleans Saints.

"He had a real good streak at Winnipeg," Pete said. "He had Tom Clements at quarterback, and they won it twice in four years.

"Then he got the gig at San Antonio," owned at the time by the late Tom Landry.

Riley left San Antonio for USC, where he spent four years (1993-96) as the offensive coordinator under John Robinson. He left the Trojans for Oregon State in 1997.

"He's had an interesting career," Pete said of his older brother. "As far as coaching in the NFL, he said, 'what a life. You can't find a more exciting deal than that.' He was ecstatic about it."

One thing appears certain - the Riley's have mellowed a bit with each generation.

When Bud Riley coached, "he was one intense dude," said Pete. "He was more along the lines of (Vince) Lombardi.

"Mike is maybe one of the most poised people around. He's cool under pressure. I would easily say that they are different-styled coaches."

At 39, Pete's coaching career has already taken him from Ohio to Texas to Alabama, and now Astoria.

Riley played college football at West Alabama, and after his playing career in the CFL ended, he coached college football for two years at Urbana University in Ohio.

After that, it was on to Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas.

"In the second year there, they had their first winning season in 14 years," Pete recalls. "Then they dropped the program the next year."

Riley went back to West Alabama to get his teaching credentials, and served as a graduate assistant.

From there, Riley moved back to Canada and was out of football for three years.

Looking to get back into coaching, Riley called Corvallis High School head coach Gary Beck, and Beck offered Riley an assistant coach position.

And that's where Riley eventually met up with Howard Rub, who was living in Corvallis and coaching at the high school.

Riley and Rub spent three years (1997-99) in Corvallis, before Rub landed the Fishermen head coaching job in the summer of 2000.

Looking for assistants, Rub gave Riley a call.

"Howard got the job at Astoria in July, and we were just getting ready for the season at Corvallis, and he asked me, 'Hey, do you want to come up and help out?' I said sure. We had some really good players that first year."

None of the Riley's have stayed in one place for very long. Unless you count Pat Riley's tenure with the Los Angeles Lakers, the longest Riley coaching stint was Mike's seven-year stay at Linfield.

And now it's Pete that may be moving on.

Tonight's game with Scappoose - which has at least one Oregon State connection of its own - may be Riley's last with the Fishermen.

"I'm going to start looking around," said Riley, who works with Astoria's cornerbacks on defense, and the quarterbacks and receivers on offense. "I'll either look into another area or go back to college. It might be time for a change.

"But whether you win or lose, coaching is enjoyable, because you're still a part of playing, in a way. That's really the passion of why you spend all those hours coaching."

And don't worry about Pete Riley. The family has plenty of connections in the coaching world.

"That is the essence of the business," he said. "It's an interesting business - it's pretty cut-throat in a lot of ways. But I'm enjoying what I do."


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