Riley Presented Coach K Award


WEST POINT, N.Y. – Army West Point hockey head coach Brian Riley was among the recipients of the Mike Krzyzewski Award for Excellence in Teaching Character Through Sport awards on Wednesday.

The winners were announced at the Cadet Mess Hall during the 12th annual awards presentation where Coach K recognizes West Point athletes and coaches for their outstanding commitment to the development of noble character through athletic participation and leadership.

Krzyzewski, a 1969 USMA graduate and former basketball player and coach, presented the awards, a certificate and medal.

“Anytime you receive an award that bears the name of Coach K it is very humbling,” said Riley. “It reminds me how fortunate I am to coach at such an amazing place and that I am surrounded by outstanding cadet-athletes on a daily basis. I am very grateful.”

The awards recognize West Point athletes and coaches for their outstanding commitment to the development of noble character through athletic participation and leadership. The cadet recipient exemplifies the Army values of loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, and personal courage both on-and-off the “fields of friendly strife.”

The coach recipient is an exceptional leader who exemplifies the Army Values of integrity, respect, selfless service, duty, honor, loyalty, and personal courage. This individual does much more than win games – he or she earns the respect and trust of athletes and makes a profound impact on their lives both as athletes and officers.

This past year was a standout for Coach Riley off the ice and was a true testament to his character and dedication to the Long Gray Line. Riley has gone above and beyond the call of duty for a coach at the U.S. Military Academy. One of his main goals is to honor and share the legacies of former Army hockey players, especially those who were killed in action.

This summer, BEAST was named “Task Force Hines” in honor of a fallen hockey player. Riley spent many hours interacting with new cadets to share the story of Hines and the type of leader that he was. He spoke to all new cadets (approx. 1250) and the entirety of the Cadet Cadre (approx. 350). Riley also participated in his first Marchback during his 14 years as a head coach as he did so alongside Hines’ family and classmates.

During the fall, the N.J. Devils came to West Point for a training trip, but specifically regarding leadership on the team. Riley spoke to the room of professional athletes sharing the story of Derek Hines, as he has done so to many professional teams that have come to the banks of the Hudson. He constantly tells the story of Hines and Thomas Kennedy to the visiting teams, explaining what kind of leaders they were and the sacrifices they made for the betterment of their team and platoons.

In January, Riley was given another platform to share the story and legacy of a fallen Army hockey player. The alumni group dedicated the newly renovated locker room to Maj. Thomas Kennedy. Riley was once again able to share his story to not only current players and friends of the program, but those of the past and future.

Riley is competitive in nature, but always stresses to win the right way. Whether in the classroom or on the fields of friendly strife, Riley inspires his team to play for those around them and for those who have come before them.

Because of that, the team has seen a spike in success during recent years. Army has made it past the First Round of playoffs for the past three seasons, while earning a bye in the last two. The team made it to the semifinal game of the AHA Tournament in 2016 and 2017.



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