Kathy Riley is in her 18th year at Longwood University during 2014-15. She has an outstanding overall record of 544-292-1 since taking over the program prior to the 1998 season, including 16 winning seasons. Riley led Longwood to an overall record of 40-16 during 2014, including a record of 26-5 in the Big South Conference, to finish as regular season runners-up. The 40 wins mark the first consecutive 40-win seasons in the program's history, its 17th consecutive 20-win campaign and the 10th 30-win season under Riley.
Riley guided the Lancers to a program-best 41-20 record in 2013, garnering her 500th coaching victory at Longwood with a 4-2 decision against Gardner-Webb on May 10, 2013. The team won its first-ever Big South Conference Championship and made its first appearance at the Division I NCAA Regionals. The most successful (.647 win percentage) and the longest tenured coach in the history of the Longwood program, Riley tutored three NFCA First-Team All-Southeast Region selections, as well as a pair of All-American honorees in 2013, as well. Her overall collegiate coaching record is 591-358-1, including four years at Mount Olive (N.C.) College (see below).
The Lancers finished 2012 with a final record of 29-26, marking their 12th year with at least 25 wins under Coach Riley. In 2011, Longwood compiled a final record of 37-13 and Coach Riley was named the 2011 Virginia Sports Information Directors Association (VaSID) Coach of the Year for her efforts.
Longwood finished 36-16 during 2010 and 23-23 in 2009, the only non-winning season during Riley’s tenure, though still a .500 effort. The Lancers finished 27-18 in 2008, following a 21-18 campaign in 2007 that completed the four-year Division I Reclassification. Longwood finished 27-19 in 2006 for its eighth-straight 25-win season, while in 2005, the Lancers were 32-20 for their fourth consecutive 30-win effort as Riley was named the 2005 Division I Independent Coach of the Year. It was also the program’s first year playing a full Division I schedule.
Longwood was 37-13 in 2004 against a predominantly Division II schedule, its third-straight 37-win season. The Lancers finished 37-6 in 2003, claiming both the Carolinas-Virginia Athletic Conference (CVAC) regular season and CVAC Tournament Championships. Longwood made its second consecutive NCAA Regional Tournament appearance that year as well. The Lancers were 37-14 in 2002, winning the program's first CVAC Tournament Championship to earn their first NCAA Regional Tournament appearance with Riley garnering CVAC Coach of the Year honors.
Longwood finished 26-14-1 in 2001, following a 34-23 record in 2000 while finishing as CVAC Tournament runners-up. The Lancers compiled a school-record of 38-15 in 1999, while the program was 22-18 during Riley's first year in 1998.
Prior to Longwood, Riley served as head coach at Mount Olive from 1993-97, gaining CVAC Coach of the Year honors in 1997 and 1995. She coached volleyball as well and was the 1994 CVAC Coach of the Year in that sport. Before that, Riley coached basketball and softball at Goldsboro (N.C.) High School for one year following eight years with the Houston (Texas) Flames AAU women's basketball team that won two National AAU Championships.
In addition to her coaching accomplishments, Riley has enjoyed quite a remarkable individual career in athletics. She was the 1981 Broderick Cup National Softball Player of the Year at East Carolina University, leading ECU to a No. 1 national ranking while garnering 1st-team All-America honors. Riley later played on the gold medal-winning team at the 1990 Olympic Sports Festival.
Riley is a member of the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA), and was inducted into the United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA) Softball Hall of Fame on November 12, 1999. She received the 2000 USSSA DeBeer-Richard H. Pollak Memorial Outstanding Sportswoman of the Year award as well. Riley has played on five national champion softball teams during the summer months, gaining All-America honors seven times.
In basketball, Riley was a Street & Smith magazine preseason All-American and North Carolina Athlete of the Year in 1981. ECU was a top-20 program that year while advancing to the NCAA Tournament. She scored over 1,800 career points while at ECU and Middle Tennessee State University, and earned tryouts for the 1980 United States Olympic Women's Basketball Team and the 1978 Pan American Games team. Riley was a finalist for the 1980 Olympic team, and later played professionally with the Houston Shamrocks of the Women's American Basketball Association during 1983-84.
A native of Dayton, Ohio, Riley earned her Bachelor of Science degree in physical education from East Carolina in 1981 after a transfer from Middle Tennessee State in 1979. She earned her Master of Education degree in physical education: psychology/sociology from North Texas State University in 1982.