The Green Bay Packers have announced that Andrew Riley of Verona Area High School in Verona, Wis., has been named the Packers High School Coach of the Week. The program is presented by Buffalo Wild Wings.
In just his second year as varsity head coach at Verona, Riley has the Wildcats knocking on the door of their second consecutive Big Eight Conference title with one game remaining in the regular season. This Friday, they are looking to close things out against Madison West on their home field. The impact that Riley has made in such a short time as head coach has been felt throughout the community. Recognizing the support that the Verona area provides for his football team, Riley wanted to find ways in which his team could show thanks and give back to the community. Riley decided to team up with a local nonprofit, Logan's Heart & Smiles, and have his players volunteer their time and labor to improve the homes of families with children who have disabilities or special needs.
"It has been a great way for us to have these young guys with testosterone use some power tools and get out in the community and give back," said Riley. "The last two years we worked with families to help take out their old driveways and put in new concrete the next day. We've worked with two families, both with sons who have cerebral palsy that were getting new walkers and needed to be able to get to the bus stop and get around, so that was a really cool experience. The saying they use is, 'everybody's fighting a battle you know nothing about.' So, for [the players] to see somebody else's battle, and just what daily life is like for somebody who's experiencing the world in a different way, it's really good for the guys."
Riley graduated from Nathan Hale High School in West Allis, Wis., in 2009. While in high school, Riley participated in football, basketball and baseball. He was a defensive back for the Huskies under head coach, Scott Otto. Following high school, Riley went on to graduate from UW-Madison in 2014. Riley's coaching career began as a volunteer assistant coach of the freshman football team at Verona Area High School. He continued to advance through the ranks at Verona, joining the varsity coaching staff in 2017. Riley was named the varsity head coach for the Wildcats in 2022.
Riley is honored to win the Coach of the Week Award and sees it as a reflection of all the hard work that his program is putting in on and off the field.
"It means the world. I can't thank the Packers, the team, school and the community enough. It's a good gold star for the things that we're doing right, that people are noticing. That's how we want to be seen, as a team that's always going to do the right thing even when nobody's watching. But it's big, the boys have worked their tails off to get us into community service, but also a great record and moving forward as a team and a football family. I think I have the best staff in the state. It's cool that we make up a really unique football family and this just shows that we're doing things the right way."
Riley and his staff oversee a program of 158 players with 85 of them suiting up for the varsity games. His assistant staff includes Tony DiMaggio, J.C. Dawkins, Tyler Laham, Alex Bjelopetrovich, Alex Wottreng, Adam Stiner, Ben Cramer, Scott Cramer, Doug Peterson, Ben Vandervest, Louis Knecht, Brad Rupnow Jay Genin, Jarod Von Behren, Kenny Gales, Derek Witte, Ben Laxton, Kyle Walton, Pat Hruska, Troy Blodgett, Jon Stokes, Josh McCall and Luke Marckesano. In addition to coaching, Riley is a physical education and health teacher at Verona Area High School. Riley is married to his wife, Mary Kate.
About the Green Bay Packers High School Coach of the Week Program:
The Packers will recognize one outstanding high school coach as their 'Coach of the Week' winner during the 2023 high school football season. Winners are awarded several items and privileges, including a $2,000 donation to the school's football program from the Green Bay Packers, Buffalo Wild Wings and the NFL Foundation, as well as recognition of the award on packers.com, wissports.net and wifca.org.
Nominations for Coach of the Week should be submitted by 10 a.m. every Monday to Ryan Fencl, Football Outreach Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include the nominee's name, address, school, phone number and reason he/she is deserving of the award.