Ex-Waynesburg coach, Pitt assistant Wiley dies
He had a smile for everyone he met and several stories to tell about Mike Ditka, but in Waynesburg, John Wiley is remembered for much more.
“If there is one word I would use to describe John, it's integrity,” said Waynesburg University president Tim Thyreen said. “Everyone who knew him loved him.”
Wiley, the most successful coach in Waynesburg history who later served as an assistant at Pitt, died Monday in Rock Hill, S.C. He was 92.
Born and raised on the family farm in Wind Ridge, Greene County, Wiley devoted much of his life to Waynesburg, where John F. Wiley Stadium was renamed in his honor in 1995. He also served on the board of trustees for more than 30 years until his death.
Wiley played tackle for Waynesburg and appeared in the first televised game in U.S. history against Fordham at Randall's Island, N.Y.
Wiley served in the Army during World War II, rising to the rank of captain.
He played for the Steelers and coaches Jock Sutherland and John Michelosen from 1946-50, and he was remembered by team chairman Dan Rooney as contributing to one of the team's most successful pre-Super Bowl periods.
“John was a fine player who had five great years with the Steelers,” Rooney said. “He contributed much for the Steelers as an offensive lineman.”
After he retired, Wiley was named head coach and athletic director at Waynesburg. He stayed there from 1951-54, compiling a .710 winning percentage (22-9-1), the best in school history.
He also was the first Waynesburg coach to defeat neighboring rival Washington & Jefferson. Waynesburg owns only two other victories against W&J in 40 games. “Those players, they deeply loved him,” Thyreen said.
Wiley left Waynesburg to become an assistant at Pitt, where he is credited with recruiting Ditka and Marty Schottenheimer.
Wiley left coaching in 1961 to become a salesman and later regional manager for the L.G. Balfour Jewelry & Taylor Publishing Company.
Wiley is survived by his wife, Helen Grace McColgin, of Apollo; a sister, Peggy Moran, of Waynesburg; three children; 11 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.
A private family memorial service will be held at noon Friday in Rock Hill. The family is requesting memorial donations be made to The East Gateway to Wiley Stadium Fund, Waynesburg University, 51 W. College Street, Waynesburg, Pa. 15370.
Jerry DiPaola is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @JDiPaola_Trib.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Discipline Pitt’s only option against Georgia Tech
- Pitt notebook: Chryst didn’t lobby to keep Watt at tight end
- All signs positive for Pitt junior forward Johnson
- Pitt’s Dixon expecting more from point guard Robinson
- Pitt’s defense has not rested in post-Donald era
- Pitt Gameday: Panthers seek midseason reboot in attempt to regain footing
- Pitt notebook: Zone-read plays suit Voytik’s strengths
- Now with Va. Tech, fate tests former Wash High running back McKenzie
- Well-rounded Voytik Pitt’s work in progress
- Pitt bounces back with win over Virginia Tech