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Ex-USC Football All-American, Longtime Minnesota Vikings Tackle Steve Riley Dies At 68

Sep 17, 2021

LOS ANGELES — Steve Riley, an All-American tackle at USC in 1973 who was a member of the Trojans' undefeated 1972 national championship team and then played 11 seasons with the Minnesota Vikings, died on Thursday (Sept. 16) in Laguna Hills, Calif., of cardiac arrest. He was 68.

Riley started at tackle as a junior for the 1972 Trojans squad that went 12-0 and beat Ohio State in the Rose Bowl. He earned All-American first team honors as a 1973 senior as the Trojans returned to the Rose Bowl. He then played in the 1974 College All-Star Game.

Riley was the Minnesota Vikings' first round selection in the 1974 NFL Draft. He spent his entire 11-year (1974-84) career with the Vikings, starting 128 of the 138 games he played. He was part of their 1974 and 1976 NFC Championship teams and played in Super Bowls IX and XI. He won the team's Ed Block Memorial Courage Award in 1984.

He came to USC from Castle Park High in Chula Vista (Calif.).

After his playing career, he owned a commercial property maintenance business in Irvine (Calif.).

Riley is survived by his wife of 40 years, Jan, as well as his 4 daughters—Bryn Dahl (Chase), Erin Evans (Cameron), Lauren Varley (Jason) and Kristen Kendrick (John)--and 10 grandchildren.

A memorial service for Riley will be held on Friday, Sept. 24, at 11 a.m. PT at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 310 Avenida Montana, San Clemente, Calif. 92673.