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Riley Named Inaugural Head Coach of LIU Men’s Hockey

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BROOKVILLE, N.Y. – LIU Athletics Director Dr. William E. Martinov Jr. announced Tuesday that the University has selected Brett Riley to lead the newly added men’s hockey program.

“We are excited that Brett is joining our Shark Nation family!” Martinov said. “He has great experience with establishing a new program, he is a fantastic recruiter, and he understands the importance of an exceptional student-athlete experience.”

Riley, a third generation collegiate hockey coach, comes to Long Island from Colgate, where he spent the 2019-20 campaign as an assistant coach. Riley also has experience with first time programs, as he built the Wilkes University program from the ground up, going 16-8-2 in the team’s first year, earning conference coach of the year honors.

“I would like to thank [LIU President] Dr. Kimberly Cline, Dr. Martinov and [women’s ice hockey head coach] Rob Morgan for giving me this tremendous opportunity,” Riley said. “We will work tirelessly to build a highly competitive program on the ice, in the classroom and throughout the community. Our student athletes we will represent Long Island University with character, class and pride. Long Island and the greater New York area are producing many top end elite young hockey players. We plan on making our program a destination for many of these local hockey players, along with players from across the United States, Canada and Europe. Both of my parents, Rob and Debbie, earned their master’s degrees from Long Island University, so it feels in a way like coming home.  I am very excited to become the first men’s hockey coach at Long Island University.”

 
Riley spent the past season working under Colgate head coach Don Vaughan. Prior to that, he spent his first season as a head coach, launching the men’s hockey program at Wilkes. While serving as head coach at Wilkes University, Riley’s team ranked 14th in the country in scoring offense and third overall in most shorthanded goals scored. Named the United Collegiate Hockey Conference Coach of the Year, Riley led three players to All-MAC accolades, a Rookie of the Year honoree, and to a collective team GPA of 3.44. In addition to the program’s successful 16-8-2 overall record, Wilkes was a standout in Division III hockey by consistently receiving Top-15 national rankings throughout the season.
  
Prior to his time at Wilkes University, Riley was a three-year head coach at the Albany Academy, where his teams reached historic records highlighted with 2017 NEPSAC Large School Runner-Up accolades. Under Riley’s guidance the program was pre-season ranked, hosted and won a semifinal game, and competed in the Large School NEPSAC Championship for the first time in school history. Riley also served as the head strength and conditioning coach while at the academy. 
 
Riley also founded and maintained operations of GEN3 Hockey, an elite youth hockey program dedicated to teaching, motivating and improving the hockey experience of young athletes. The program includes on and off ice coaching and training and has grown from three teams and 70 players in 2010 to 42 teams and 855 players to date. It has also developed 12 NHL draft picks further extending the reach of influence over players at all levels. Riley also served as a player consultant at GDA Hockey, where he identified high-level NCAA prospects and built relationships in the New England area.
 
No stranger to the rink as a third generation hockey coach, Riley’s father Rob served as head coach at Army West Point for 19 years and is currently an amateur scout for the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres. Jack Riley, Brett’s grandfather, also coached at Army for more than 35 years after coaching the United States to the gold medal at the 1960 Squaw Valley Olympics.

A native of South Hamilton, Massachusetts, Riley graduated from Hobart College in 2014 with a bachelor’s in history, where he was a three-time ECAC West All-Academic Team selection in his four-year career with the Statesmen.

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