Former Husker coach Mike Riley is the USFL Coach of the Year for the 2022 season.
The league announced its individual awards on Wednesday after completing its first season on Sunday.
Riley guided the New Jersey Generals to a 9-1 record and the North Division title. New Jersey lost 28-24 to the Birmingham Stallions on April 16 in the first game in the football league’s history, then went the rest of the regular season without another defeat.
Riley was at Alabama from 1971 through 1974, when the Crimson Tide lost one regular-season game and captured four SEC championships under coach Paul “Bear” Bryant.
Before joining the Generals this year, Riley’s career included serving as the head coach of the NFL’s San Diego Chargers from 1999 through 2001. Riley also has been the head coach of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League, the college programs at Oregon State and Nebraska, the World League of American Football’s San Antonio Riders and the Alliance of American Football’s San Antonio Commanders.
The Generals dominated the USFL’s individual awards for the 2022 campaign. In addition to Riley’s honor, New Jersey wide receiver KaVontae Turpin won the league’s Most Valuable Player Award and running back Darius Victor won the Offensive Player of the Year Award.
Houston Gamblers defensive end Chris Odom was named the Defensive Player of the Year.
After playing its entire regular season in Birmingham, the USFL will conclude its first year with three postseason games in Canton, Ohio.
In the semifinals of the USFL playoffs on Saturday at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio, the Generals and Philadelphia Stars will square off at 2 p.m. CDT on FOX and the New Orleans Breakers and Stallions will meet at 7 p.m. on NBC.
Saturday’s winners will play in the USFL championship game at 6:30 p.m. July 3 in Canton. FOX will televise the title game.
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Oregon State head football coach Mike Riley boards a private jet at the Corvallis Airport in December 2014 to fly to Lincoln to accept the head football coaching position.
New Nebraska football coach Mike Riley shakes hands with Husker quarterback Johnny Stanton after arriving at North Stadium in December 2014. Riley recruited Stanton while at Oregon State.
Former Nebraska AD Shawn Eichorst (left) shakes the hand Mike Riley at his introductory news conference in December 2014.
Mike Riley went from coach at Oregon State to the most recognizable figure in Nebraska.
Mike Riley and his wife Dee smile during a press conference to introduce Riley as the new Nebraska head football coach in December 2014.
Mike Riley, Nebraska's new head football coach, poses for photographers at Memorial Stadium in December 2014.
NU football practice, 12/16/14
Nebraska head coach Mike Riley (from left) watches the NU football team practice with Bruce Read, Trent Bray and Mark Banker in December 2014 at Hawks Championship Center.
Michigan State vs. Nebraska, 1/23/15
Nebraska head football coach Mike Riley talks to the crowd at halftime of 2015 Nebraska basketball game against Michigan State at Pinnacle Bank Arena. Riley's staff was announced at the break.
The scene at the Holiday Bowl, Nebraska vs. USC, 12/27/14
In the Nebraska crowd are former athletic director Shawn Eichorst (left in the red jacket) and head football coach Mike Riley (right, red jacket over gray sweatshirt with black hat) at the Holiday Bowl at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego in December 2014.
2015 Recruiting class bash
Nebraska head coach Mike Riley (right) talks with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas during an event to celebrate the Huskers' 2015 recruiting class at the Devaney Sports Center.
First day of spring football practice, 3/7/15
Mike Riley watches the Huskers' first spring practice in March 2015.
Nebraska football practice, 3/14/15
Nebraska head coach Mike Riley signals to his team during a March 2015 practice at Hawks Championship Center.
Husker Football Practice, 4/4/15
Nebraska coach Mike Riley watches his players practice during an April 2015 practice.
M.A.D. DADS Bike Giveaway
Husker football coach Mike Riley leads a group of 20 boys and girls around Tom Osborne Field on their new bikes in April 2015 at Memorial Stadium. Mad Dads gave a bike to 20 boys and girls who have never owned a bike.
Red-White Spring Game, 4/11/15
Nebraska head coach Mike Riley talks to wide receiver De'Mornay Pierson-El (15) during the second quarter of the 2015 Red-White Spring Game at Memorial Stadium.
Nebraska Football Fan Day, 8/5/15
Nebraska coach Mike Riley is mobbed by Huskers fans as he leaves the field following the conclusion of Nebraska Fan Day in August 2015 at Memorial Stadium.
BYU vs. Nebraska, 9/12/15
Nebraska Head Coach Mike Riley leaves the field after losing to BYU on a Hail Mary at Memorial Stadium in September 2015.
Nebraska vs. Illinois, 10/3/15
Head linesman Steven Matarante, Nebraska head coach Mike Riley and former defensive coordinator Mark Banker watch a replay of the tying touchdown at Memorial Stadium in Champaign, Ill., in October 2015.
Cavanaugh and Tenopir at Practice
Nebraska head coach Mike Riley (left) has a laugh with the late Milt Tenopir during an October 2015 practice at Memorial Stadium.
Nebraska vs. Purdue, 10/31/15
Nebraska head football coach Mike Riley and former quarterback Ryker Fyfe leave the field after losing to Purdue 55-45 at Ross-Ade Stadium in October 2015.
Michigan State vs. Nebraska, 11/7/15
Nebraska coach Mike Riley calls a timeout late in second-quarter action at Memorial Stadium against Michigan State in November 2015.
Iowa vs. Nebraska, 11/27/15
Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz (left) and Nebraska's Mike Riley meet after the Hawkeyes' 28-20 victory at Memorial Stadium in November 2015.
UCLA vs. Nebraska, 12/26/15
Nebraska head coach Mike Riley accepts the Foster Farms Bowl trophy at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., in December 2015.
Spring Practice, 3/5/16
Mike Riley and the Huskers close a March 2016 spring practice at Hawks Championship Center.
Nebraska's Annual Red-White Game, 4/16/16
Nebraska head coach Mike Riley (right) mugs for the GoPro camera on the helmet of Huskers wide receiver Stanley Morgan Jr. (8) as assistant coach Keith Williams looks on prior to Nebraska’s 2016 Red-White Spring Game at Memorial Stadium.
Riley Eichorst Road Show, 5/10/16
Nebraska head football coach Mike Riley greets members of the Lincoln Rotary Club during a luncheon in May 2016 at the Nebraska Club.
Said Mike Riley of Memorial Stadium, "I think it's all just a perfect picture of the blending of college football."
Sam Foltz Vigil, 7/24/16
Nebraska football coach Mike Riley (right) and athletic director Shawn Eichorst walk away from the conclusion of a July 2016 news conference on the death of Husker punter Sam Foltz.
Sam Foltz Funeral, 7/30/16
Nebraska head football coach Mike Riley and his wife, Dee, lead the procession with former athletic director Shawn Eichorst, members of the administration and Husker athletes in July 2016 before the funeral for Nebraska punter Sam Foltz at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Grand Island. Foltz was killed in a car accident in Wisconsin the previous week.
Nebraska Football Fan Day, 8/3/16
Nebraska head coach Mike Riley (right) and athletic director Shawn Eichorst enjoy a laugh during the 2016 Nebraska Football Fan Day at Memorial Stadium.
Nebraska head coach Mike Riley (center) talks with UNL president Hank Bounds (right) and chancellor Ronnie Green during football practice in 2015 at Memorial Stadium.
Wyoming vs. Nebraska, 9/10/16
Nebraska head coach Mike Riley talks with offensive lineman Nick Gates (68) during the Sept. 2016 game against Wyoming at Memorial Stadium.
Oregon vs. Nebraska, 9/17/16
Nebraska head coach Mike Riley celebrates Nebraska's 35-32 victory against Oregon at Memorial Stadium in 2016.
Milt Tenopir remembrance, 10/2/16
Husker coach Mike Riley speaks at a celebration of Milt Tenopir's life at Memorial Stadium in Oct. 2016.
Nebraska vs. Iowa, 11/25/16
Nebraska coach Mike Riley instructs the team during a break in the action against Iowa in Nov. 2016 at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, Iowa.
Minnesota vs. Nebraska women's hoops, 2/4/17
Nebraska's head football coach Mike Riley quietly makes his way to his seat as Nebraska women's basketball team takes on Minnesota at Pinnacle Bank Arena in Feb. 2017.
Red-White Spring Game, 4/15/17
Nebraska head coach Mike Riley walks from sideline to sideline during the 2017 Red-White spring game at Memorial Stadium.
Husker Tour stop: Grand Island
Nebraska football coach Mike Riley (left) talks to Huskers fan Kyla Sybrandts, 11, of Grand Island while signing a plastic football for her in May 2017 during a Husker tour stop at the Balz Reception Hall.
Nebraska Begins Football
Nebraska head coach Mike Riley greets players on the first day of practice in July.
Nebraska football coach Mike Riley speaks to the media in August at Memorial Stadium.
Nebraska vs. Oregon, 9/9/17
Nebraska head coach Mike Riley (right) greets former USC head football coach John Robinson, who was waiting for him outside the Huskers' locker room prior to the Oregon game, in September at Autzen Stadium. Riley was an offensive coordinator under Robinson at USC.
Northern Illinois vs. Nebraska, 9/16/17
Nebraska coach Mike Riley bows his head as the final seconds tick off against Northern Illinois at Memorial Stadium in September. Nebraska lost 21-17.
Riley on Eichorst firing
Nebraska head football coach Mike Riley speaks during a September news conference at Memorial Stadium regarding the firing of athletic director Shawn Eichorst.
Husker football practice, 9/26/17
Nebraska head coach Mike Riley (left) and defensive coordinator Bob Diaco talk during September football practice at Hawks Championship Center.
Wisconsin Nebraska Football
Nebraska head coach Mike Riley walks off the field following the loss to Wisconsin in October.
Ohio State vs. Nebraska, 10/14/17
Nebraska head coach Mike Riley walks the sideline near the end of the first half against Ohio State at Memorial Stadium in October.
Nebraska vs. Purdue, 10/28/17
Nebraska head coach Mike Riley has a conversation with an official doing the first half at Ross-Ade Stadium in October in West Lafayette, Ind.
Nebraska vs. Minnesota, 11/11/17
Nebraska coach Mike Riley talks with players on the bench in the closing minutes of a loss to Minnesota in November at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.