Riley Wallace

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Riley Wallace
Biographical details
Born (1941-10-25) October 25, 1941 (age 78)
Alton, Illinois
Playing career
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1964–1966Litchfield HS (asst.)
1966–1971Litchfield HS
1971–1976Centenary (asst.)
1978–1984Hawaii (assoc. HC)
1984–1987Seminole JC
Administrative career (AD unless noted)
Head coaching record
Overall349–262 (NCAA D-I)
68–36 (junior college)
Tournaments0–3 (NCAA D-I)
8–6 (NIT)
Accomplishments and honors
WAC Tournament (1994, 2001, 2002)
WAC Pacific Division regular season (1997)
WAC regular season (2002)

Robert Riley Wallace (born October 25, 1941) is an American retired basketball coach. He spent most of his career coaching college basketball, and was the head coach of the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors men's team from 1987 through 2007.

Early life and college playing career[edit]

Born in Alton, Illinois, Wallace graduated from Jersey Community High School in Jerseyville, Illinois in 1959.[1] After high school, Wallace attended Centenary College of Louisiana and started at forward all three years on the Centenary Gentlemen varsity basketball team from 1960 to 1963.[1][2] Wallace led Centenary in field goal percentage with at least 8 attempts per game (.450) as a sophomore in 1960–61 and rebounding (222 n the season, 8.5 per game) as a junior in 1961–62.[3]

Wallace graduated from Centenary in 1964 with a Bachelor of Science degree in physical education.[4][5]

Coaching career[edit]

After graduating from Centenary, Wallace became an assistant basketball coach at Litchfield High School in Litchfield, Illinois under Larry Little. Wallace was also track and field head coach at Litchfield High from 1964 to 1967.[1] In 1966, Wallace became head coach and would lead Litchfield for five seasons with a 69–59 record and the 1970 regional title.[6] Wallace completed a Master of Education degree at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign College of Education in 1968.[7]

In 1971, Wallace returned to Centenary College to be assistant basketball coach, again under Larry Little. He became head basketball coach and athletic director in 1976, then resigned midway in the 1977–78 season to be associate head coach at Hawaii, again under Little. Wallace remained in this position until 1984.[1]

From 1984 to 1987, Wallace was head coach at Seminole Junior College in Seminole, Oklahoma and left with a 68–36 record, including consecutive 26–10 seasons.[1]

After coaching at Seminole JC, Wallace returned to Hawaii to be head coach. When Wallace took over the program in 1987, it had suffered through four-straight losing seasons, including a combined 11-43 mark during the latter two years. He guided Hawaii to nine of its 12 all-time postseason appearances, including a school-record streak of four straight from 2001-04. The Warriors appeared in the NCAA Tournament three times under Wallace and were invited to the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) on six occasions. Prior to his arrival, the program had just one NCAA appearance and two trips to the NIT.[1]

Wallace announced his resignation following the end of the 2006-07 season on December 29, 2006.[8]

Head coaching record[edit]


Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Centenary Gentlemen (NCAA Division I Independent) (1976–1978)
1976–77 Centenary 11–19
1977–78 Centenary 4–8*
Centenary: 15–27
Hawaii Rainbow Warriors (Western Athletic Conference) (1987–2007)
1987–88 Hawaii 4–25 2–14 9th
1988–89 Hawaii 17–13 9–7 4th NIT First Round
1989–90 Hawaii 25–10 10–6 T–3rd NIT Quarterfinals
1990–91 Hawaii 16–13 7–9 T–5th
1991–92 Hawaii 16–12 9–7 T–4th
1992–93 Hawaii 12–16 7–11 T–7th
1993–94 Hawaii 18–15 11–7 4th NCAA First Round
1994–95 Hawaii 16–13 8–10 6th
1995–96 Hawaii 10–18 7–11 8th
1996–97 Hawaii 21–8 12–4 T–1st (Pacific) NIT Second Round
1997–98 Hawaii 21–9 8–6 4th (Pacific) NIT Quarterfinals
1998–99 Hawaii 6–20 3–11 7th (Pacific)
1999–00 Hawaii 17–12 5–9 6th
2000–01 Hawaii 17–14 8–8 T–5th NCAA First Round
2001–02 Hawaii 27–6 15–3 T–1st NCAA First Round
2002–03 Hawaii 19–12 9–9 T–6th NIT Second Round
2003–04 Hawaii 21–12 11–7 5th NIT Quarterfinals
2004–05 Hawaii 16–13 7–11 7th
2005–06 Hawaii 17–11 10–6 T–4th
2006–07 Hawaii 18–13 8–8 T–5th
Hawaii: 334–265 166–164
Total: 349–292

      National champion         Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion

*Resigned in January 1978 to become associate head coach at Hawaii.

Junior college[edit]

Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Seminole (OK) Trojans (Bi-State Conference) (1984–1987)
1984–85 Seminole (OK) 26–10[9]
1985–86 Seminole (OK) 26–10[1]
1986–87 Seminole (OK) 16–16
Seminole (OK): 68–36
Total: 68–36

      National champion         Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Riley Wallace". University of Hawaii at Manoa. Archived from the original on June 14, 2006. Retrieved May 13, 2015.
  2. ^ "The Life of Riley". 2008. Retrieved May 13, 2015.
  3. ^ Centenary record book, pp. 17-18.
  4. ^ Kaneshiro, Jason (February 8, 2005). "Road trip takes UH's Wallace back". Honolulu Star-Bulletin. Retrieved May 13, 2015.
  5. ^ University of Illinois Board of Trustees Minutes. September 18, 1970. p. 106.
  6. ^ "Litchfield - Boys Basketball". Illinois High School Association. Retrieved May 13, 2015.
  7. ^ Centenary College of Louisiana Catalogue, 1970-1971, p. 109.
  8. ^ Kaneshiro, Jason (December 30, 2006). "Wallace makes it official". Honolulu Star-Bulletin. Retrieved May 13, 2015.
  9. ^ Munn, Scott (December 5, 1985). "Seminole Taller, Off to Faster Start". The Oklahoman. Retrieved May 13, 2015.

External links[edit]