Remembering Miner Great Clovis Riley
July 11, 2014
EL PASO, Texas- Clovis Riley, who was a standout running back for Texas Western (1951-53), passed away on June 2 at his home in Abilene, Texas, at the age of 82.
"Clovis Riley was a great athlete, coach, businessman, husband and parent," said Ken George, a former teammate.
Riley led the Miners in rushing all three seasons with the Miners, amassing 1,699 yards on 323 carries (5.3 average) and 19-career touchdowns. Riley led the Miners with 10 trips to pay dirt during the 1952 campaign.
The native of Kerrville, Texas, was on the 1954 Sun Bowl squad that beat Southern Miss, 37-14, on Jan. 1. Riley led the team with 112 yards rushing on 12 carries (9.3 average), including a 43-yard scamper to the end zone for the Miners' final touchdown in the third quarter. His efforts during his senior season helped the Miners record an 8-2 mark after the New Year's Day victory.
Riley tallied four-career 100-yard + games, while setting a career best with 160 yards against North Texas on Oct. 24, 1953. He set a career high with three rushing touchdowns against rival NM State the week before.
Following a successful playing career and earning a degree from Texas Western, Riley moved to the high school football coaching ranks where he took a job in Mason, Texas. Riley then went to coach in Olney, Texas, guiding the team to State. Following that, he coached at Abilene Cooper High School, serving as the first-ever football coach for the new school.
Riley, after coaching and a stint in the life insurance field, moved to the oil field industry where he owned and operated Clovis Riley, Inc. and CRW Producing.
Riley was born on May 27, 1932, and is survived by his sister, Loyce Charles and husband, T.A.; two daughters, Donna Loyce Harris and Karen Hale and husband, Cameron; three granddaughters, Carley McClellan, Abby Winn and husband, Wilson, and Rachel McClellan; two great-grandsons, William Harris and Keaton Riley Winn; along with numerous nieces and nephews.