OBITUARY: D. Madison ‘Matt’ Riley


D. Madison “Matt” Riley, of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, went to be with the Lord on Thursday, June 1, 2023.

He was a native of Strawberry Plains, TN and attended Bethel Community Church in Murfreesboro.

Matt spent 30 years working at his alma mater, Middle Tennessee State University. He returned to Murfreesboro in 1993 to serve as a strength coach after two-year stints at both Tennessee Tech and Southern Miss, and then was elevated to Associate Athletic Director of Strength and Conditioning in 2007. He served in that role for 11 years before transitioning to a position in the MT Varsity Club and Blue Raiders Hall of Fame.

His tireless dedication to student athletes, first as a strength coach, then through the Varsity Club, was second to none. Countless generations of Blue Raiders have had their lives made better by the work Matt invested in them, and his dedication to them was returned by those same student athletes.

As the Associate Athletic Director of Strength and Conditioning, Matt oversaw the strength and conditioning program for more than 300 student-athletes annually at Middle Tennessee, in addition to his duties as a strength coach for various teams. He was also instrumental in the design of the Sports Performance Facility located adjacent to the football stadium on the north side.

Matt is a former Blue Raider offensive lineman, playing under former athletics director and football coach Boots Donnelly from 1984-85 and was a member of the 1985 11-0 OVC Championship team. He was also an assistant to strength coach Doc Kreis at MTSU in 1988 before being hired as the head strength and conditioning coach at Tennessee Tech in 1989.

He was a Master Strength and Conditioning Coach (MACC) and was certified by the Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association (CSCCA), the National Association of Speed and Explosion (NASE) and the International Sports Science Association (ISSA). He was also a member of each association, as well as the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA).

He was preceded in death by father, Donald A. Riley, grandmother, Neva Riley; great-grandmother, Nora Dance, and grandfather, Earnest Riley, grandfather, Toy V. Cate, grandmother, Juanita Cate; great-great-grandmother, Elizabeth Smith, father-in-law, Jack T. Davis, special friend, Robert Case, aunt, Brenda McCall, host of other family and friends.

Matt is survived by his loving wife of thirty years, Rajayna Riley; children Madison (Noah) McKay and Jackson Riley; mother, Joyce Cate Riley; brothers, Spencer (Beth) Riley and Rocky (Jennifer) Riley; nieces and nephew, Catelyn, Tucker, and Lucia; mother-in-law, Jane Davis; brother-in-law, Chuck Davis; uncle, Jim Riley.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Jefferson County High School Sideline Club at PO Box 1282, Dandridge, TN 37725 or MTSU Foundation c/o Matt Riley Memorial Foundation Wood Stegall Building Box 109 MTSU Murfreesboro, TN 37132.

Matt was a tissue donor and planned for donation for research, specifically, for the study and research of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), wounds, burn victims and other studies.

Memorial Gathering will be 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM Friday, June 9, 2023, inside Murphy Center at Middle Tennessee State University.

Memorial Gathering will be 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM Saturday, June 17, 2023, at Beech Spring Baptist. Private Graveside service will be held at Beech Springs Cemetery with French Broad Lodge #588 officiating.


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