Three-time Grey Cup-winner Mike Riley named USFL Coach of the Year

Photo: AP/Nati Harnik

Former CFL head coach Mike Riley has been named the USFL’s Coach of the Year after leading the New Jersey Generals to a 10-1 record.

The 68-year-old served as the defensive backs coach with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers for three seasons (1983-85) under Cal Murphy, winning a Grey Cup in 1984. He returned to the team as its head coach for four seasons (1987-90) and won two more Grey Cups in 1988 and 1990.

Riley departed the league in 1991 to become the head coach of the San Antonio Riders of the World League of American Football (WLAF), which was later renamed NFL Europe. He eventually became the head coach of the San Diego Chargers (1999-2001) before stints as the bench boss at Oregon State (2003-14) and Nebraska (2015-17).

The inaugural season of the revived USFL was played entirely in Birmingham, Ala. with the postseason set to be played at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio. The Generals are scheduled to play the Philadelphia Stars (6-4) on Saturday for a berth in the championship game on July 3.

The league’s television ratings started relatively strong in Week 1 but quickly dwindled, averaging just 290,000 viewers during the final week of the regular season.