Riley, a 2005 graduate of MCHS, has been the head coach at Selmer Middle School for five years and has won three county titles during that span. His 2014 team won the TNT State Tournament. He played basketball and baseball at MCHS.
“I’m really excited to get to coach at my alma mater with my first job as a high school coach,” said Riley. “It was my dream to get to coach at McNairy Central.”
Coach Riley said he understood the players have had it hard with the coaching change and they would work through it together.
“I know the players will have to go through a transition with a new coach,” said Riley. “It is never easy when a team has a new coach to come in.”
Riley had two separate coaches when he played basketball at McNairy Central.
The biggest impact on Riley’s coaching philosophy was made by former Bobcats and current Dyersburg coach Blaine Mahaffey.
“Coach Mahaffey taught me a great deal about basketball and I am going to use that coaching McNairy Central,” said Riley. “I am going to lean on him for advice. I will talk to other coaches as well because you can always learn something from older coaches that have done this in the past.”
Riley said he is not going to cut anyone on the team and they would have an open tryout later before practice begins on Nov. 1.
“There is a lot of talent on the team and about 30 players,” said Riley. “We are going to work hard to build a team.”
A new father of 2-month-old Jaxon Riley, the newly named coach said he intends to build a family atmosphere with the basketball Bobcats.
Stacy and wife Betsy live in Selmer. Riley is the fourth former Bobcat to coach the team. The others are Brian Brown, Randy Roten, and Steve Forsythe. Brown is the all-time leader in wins for a boys coach at MC.
The interim status Riley was given does not faze the coach. He is aware that school officials will evaluate him in the spring about the job on a permanent basis.
Coach Riley said it would be to current assistants Tim Dancer and Clark Whitten whether they work as his assistants for him.
He plans to continue as an assistant baseball coach at MCHS and will finish this football season out as head coach of the Selmer Lions.
Riley will be the third boys basketball coach in a five-year span at MC. He hopes to stop the constant turnover by having a successful season.