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Building Community Through Football: A Conversation with Scott Riley

Welcome back to The Best of Johnston County Podcast! In this episode, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Scott Riley, the head football coach at Cleveland High School. Coach Riley is no stranger to success, with an impressive record of nine conference championships in ten years, including seven consecutive titles. Join me as we dive into his journey to Johnston County, the keys to his team’s success, and the strong sense of community that has been built around the Cleveland High School football program.

Coach Riley’s story is one of passion and dedication. Growing up in the Cary-Raleigh area, he attended Cardinal Gibbons High School before playing football at Washington Jefferson in Pennsylvania and graduating from the University of North Carolina. Initially planning to attend law school, his love for football led him down a different path – a career in coaching.

Starting his coaching career at Harnett Central High School, Coach Riley also taught American history during his six years there. When Cleveland High School opened its doors in 2009, he and several members of his coaching staff made the move. Since then, Coach Riley has been the head coach, leading the team to multiple conference championships and deep playoff runs.

One of the key factors behind Coach Riley’s success is the continuity of his coaching staff. Many of the coaches at Cleveland have been with him since his days at Harnett Central, forming a tight-knit group with a shared vision for the program. This continuity not only contributes to on-field success but also fosters a positive culture and a strong sense of community within the team.

Another aspect that sets Coach Riley’s program apart is his emphasis on teaching and character development. He firmly believes that being a good teacher is just as important as being a good coach. By building relationships with his players and helping them grow as individuals, he creates an environment where they can thrive both on and off the field.

If you’re a fan of high school football or simply interested in the inner workings of a successful football program, this episode is a must-listen. Coach Scott Riley shares his insights, experiences, and the keys to his team’s success. From the importance of continuity and community to the impact of passionate coaching, there’s plenty to learn from his journey.

Don’t miss out on this inspiring conversation with Coach Scott Riley! Tune in to this episode of The Best of Johnston County Podcast to gain valuable insights from a dedicated coach who is making a difference in the lives of his players. Whether you’re a football enthusiast or simply looking for some motivation, Coach Riley’s story is sure to leave you inspired. So, grab your headphones and join us on this journey of building community through football.