Mahalo Riley - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Mahalo Riley

Coach Riley Wallace Coach Riley Wallace

By:  Russell Yamanoha

Manoa, HI (KHNL) - It was a sendoff befitting the winningest basketball coach, in UH history.

Riley Wallace watched his team roll past Boise State, and then watched the Rainbow faithful pour out their hearts.

"Most people would think it's a sad time, but its not." said Wallace.

"It's a glad time because I'm very happy with what I was able to accomplish here and the friends that I've made. The many student athletes that have touched me, and I've been able to touch back some. It's a great, great feeling."

In total, the Wallace family has been part of the UH hoops program for some 26 years.

And as we saw tonight, it's not easy to turn your back on a quarter century's worth of service.

"These fans know, I love the fans here." said Wallace.

"And how much they loved their team. And they trusted me that the team was going to play hard and give them a chance to cheer for a winner and I think we've done that."

Wallace's star guard Matt Lojeski has a big nig in Riley's last game. According to Lojo, "(Coach Wallace) has meant so much and he's changed this program around. He's the face of Rainbow Basketball now and everybody's going to miss him and everyone's here to support him and it's a good thing for him to go out with a win it just makes it that much better."

And it wasn't just the crowd that came out to bid Wallace adieu. Former players did as well, all to say so long to coach Wallace.

One of them was former Hawaii star Tes Whitlock who said, "It's bittersweet. I'm glad that he looks good. And his health is good. But its sad to see the history go under like this and I'm kind of speechless because I just can't believe we're at the end of the road tonight."

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