The Day After In The Life Of Riley - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

The Day After In The Life Of Riley

by: Russell Yamanoha

(KHNL) - In 1964, Lyndon Johnson was president.  The Beatles were number 1.  Gasoline cost 30 cents a gallon.

In the time since, a lot has changed, but not in the life of Riley.

Where everyday for the past 43 years, Riley Wallace has made a living as a basketball coach.

that is until today.

"It'll be the first time in 43 years that i won't be going to the office."

Wallace's contract as Hawaii's Head Basketball Coach ended on April 30th, making May 1st, a day he's both anticipated and dreaded.

"I finished 20 years and didn't get fired. Came close many times. And not because of the administration but because of me. I finished when i wanted to, nobody shoved me out the door and i'm very proud of the job we all did together."

It was a job that took it's toll on Wallace, in more ways than one.

"Something is wrong with Riley wallace he is holding his head. And they want him to sit down. Riley Wallace has collapsed in front of the bench! Riley Wallace has collapsed in front of the Rainbow bench!"

"You had back surgery, brain surgery, heart surgery, basically. All those things come with the stress of the job."

And believe it or not, way back when, coaching wasn't the top job on the Wallace career depth chart.

"I was also thinking about being a Methodist minister. Which looking back now is hilarious. Yes, it probably would've been but I would've been a good minister. I get up on the pulpit I can talk."

Wallace leaves behind a winning legacy in Manoa. He's the winningest coach in Hawaii history who's work may be done, but he is not.

"I'm not planning on going to the mall and walking and i'm not into ballroom dancing down at the Ala Wai yet"

As Riley leaves the U.H., he says he hopes we can all remember that student athletes are student athletes - they are not professionals.

And he hopes Hawaii fans will support the Rainbow teams far into the future.

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