“La Salle High School is saddened to announce that long time teacher and coach Fred Riley passed away Sunday, February 12 in the late afternoon after suffering a devastating aneurysm on February 4,” La Salle Principal Courtney Kassakhian said. “Coach Riley was a teacher, coach, and mentor at La Salle High School in Pasadena for more than 20 years. As a teacher and Department Chairperson, he was a prominent and innovative leader within the school’s Computer Science Department. As a coach, he was renowned in the San Gabriel Valley and beyond as one of the premiere coaches for Boys and Girls Cross Country and Track and Field.”
Riley’s teams have earned over 20 League Championships during his years as coach.
Patrick Bonacci, Vice President for Mission at La Salle, said Riley led the school’s computer science department into becoming a cutting-edge element at La Salle, and was known as a great track coach even before joining La Salle in the spring of 1995.
“He worked for many years at Pius X High School as a teacher and coach before we were blessed when he joined us,” Bonacci said. “As with all coaches, sometimes you need to prod and push and such, but I think they all certainly understood that he was there for them and they could trust him. I think it speaks volumes that at least two of the current other coaches in the track across the country were both his previous students and athletes and certainly he’s been a mentor to them as they continued with the program.”
Two of Riley’s assistant coaches for La Salle Cross Country – Kjersti Housman Holyfield and Chris Ring – were his students and athletes.
“Within the La Salle Community, Mr. Riley exemplified the Lasallian ideal of being a ‘Big Brother’ to the students entrusted by God to his care,” Principal Kassakhian said.
“To his lovely wife Joyce, and to his son Westley who is a graduate of La Salle, and to Westley’s young son that everyone calls little Westley, certainly my sadness for what has occurred, the suddenness of the tragic aneurism that hit poor Fred a little over a week ago,” Bonacci said of Riley’s passing.