Colgate assistant Riley tabbed to be inaugural coach at Long Island University, starting with ’20-21 season

Brett Riley started up the Wilkes program in 2018-19 before serving as an assistant at Colgate this past season (photo: Wilkes Athletics).
Long Island announced Tuesday that the school has named Colgate assistant coach Brett Riley to lead the newly added men’s hockey program slated to start with the 2020-21 season.”We are excited that Brett is joining our Shark Nation family,” LIU athletics director Dr. William Martinov Jr. said in a statement. “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 spent the 2019-20 campaign with Colgate after building the Wilkes program from the ground up in 2018-19, going 16-8-2 in the team’s first year and earning UCHC coach of the year honors.”I would like to thank [LIU president] Dr. Kimberly Cline, Dr. Martinov and [women’s 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 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.”Coaching is in Riley’s blood as three family members have been the head coach at Army West Pointover the past 70 years. His grandfather, Jack, coached until 1986, when he was replaced by his son, Rob, who is Brett’s father. Rob Riley, who is currently a scout for the Buffalo Sabres, was then replaced by his brother, Brian (Brett’s uncle), in 2004. Bill’s son, Bill Riley Jr., was head coach at UMass Lowell from 1969 to 1991.Brett’s cousins, Jack (2013-18) and Brendan (2016-20), both played at Mercyhurst, while Jack is now an assistant coach at Manhattanville.A native of South Hamilton, Mass., Riley graduated from Hobart in 2014 with a bachelor’s in history, and was a three-time ECAC West All-Academic Team selection in his four-year career with the Statesmen.