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Riley honored by Walterboro Booster Club Saturday

Coach Leroy Riley

The words honor, integrity, and religion were used by those who fondly know former Colleton County High School Athletic Director and Coach Leroy Riley at a dinner that honored him for his 24 years of service to that school. The dinner was put together by Walterboro residents Burley Black, Jr. and Alroy Headden.

Riley, currently the coach and athletic director at Colleton Preparatory Academy, ended up with an admirable record of 157 wins and 140 losses while at Walterboro High School and Colleton County High School. During his tenure, he won five region titles, two lower state titles, and the 1997 Division II 4AAAA State Championship title. 

Riley began his career at Walterboro High School in 1988 after growing up in nearby Harleyville. “I was about 20 before I realized that Harleyville wasn’t the center of the universe and there was a lot more to do in the world,” Riley said shortly after being hired.

Riley played football at Harleyville-Ridgeville High School, playing on the Junior Varsity team in ninth grade, and was named the team’s most valuable player that year. He went on to become the varsity team’s top offensive lineman as a senior. Riley then attended Georgia Southern University, graduating in 1978. For two years before coming to WHS, he was an assistant coach at Georgia Southern.

When Riley came to Walterboro, he replaced WHS Coach Gyles Hall, who had coached at the school for 13 seasons, serving nine of those years as both athletic director and head coach. In 1979, under Hall, the WHS team upset Richland Northeast High School in the first round of the AAAA playoffs. The team then lost to the Dillon Wildcats by a small margin during the next round.

Speakers praising Riley’s services included current CCHS Principal Cliff Warren, former Colleton County School Superintendent Charles Gail, David Williamson, who announced the play-by-play game events for many, many football seasons (Williamson’s announcing cohort, Buzz Benson, could not attend the dinner due to illness), Billy Baker, of High School Sports Report, and School Board Assistant Superintendent Bob Pence. A letter from Summerville High School Coach John McKissick, who could not be at the dinner because of a family-related matter, was also read aloud. McKissick praised Riley’s tenure as the WHS coach.