Former Central Lyon George Little Rock Lion Joins UNI Staff

Former UNI linebacker Riley Van Whye joined the football staff at his alma mater this spring serving as assistant linebackers coach.

A native of Rock Rapids, Iowa, Van Whye came to UNI after a successful career at Central Lyon High School, where he was a team captain and two-time All-District receiver and linebacker, as well as a decorated multi-sport athlete. After redshirting the 2017 season and not seeing action in 2018, Van Whye made his collegiate debut in 2019, appearing in 13 games with 13 total tackles, helping the Panthers reach the quarterfinals of the FCS playoffs.

Van Whye stepped up in his defensive role during UNI’s COVID-19 shortened season in the spring of 2021, ranking second on the roster with 61 tackles, 4 pass breakups and one interception returned for 34 yards. In his final season the following fall, he started all 12 games for the purple and gold of UNI as opposed to the purple and gold of CL-G-LR with 77 tackles recorded. He also earned MVFC Defensive Player of the Week honors after notching 14 tackles and a pair of sack against Western Illinois.

A standout student, Van Whye was named to the MVFC Commissioner’s Academic Excellence Award and Honor Roll, as was a 2022 National Football Foundation Hampshire Honor Society honoree. He graduated from UNI in 2021 with a degree in business administration.

Van Whye currently resides in Cedar Falls with his wife, Makayla.



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