Beloved teacher/coach (UWGB Class of ’70) battles rare disorder

Rick Riehl, one of 78 members of UW-Green Bay’s original, June 1970 graduating class, was in his glory revisiting old times with classmates at the Alumni Days event at Shorewood Clubhouse on Sept. 2. Just a month later, he was diagnosed with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, an extremely rare, degenerative and invariably fatal brain disorder. Riehl, a retired English teacher and multi-sport coach at West Bend East High School and a pillar of the community, is described this way by his local newspaper’s sports editor: “…If you went to East or played sports, at some point he entered your life. There’s not a whole lot of people who can say they had an impact on an entire city like he has.” A member of Lou LeCalsey’s first soccer team at UWGB, in his second career Riehl most recently served as Concordia University Wisconsin’s sports information director. On Saturday, Concordia will dedicate the football press box at Tomasini Field in his name. Riehl, his health and memory rapidly fading, will be there for the honor. Gary D’Amato of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel has a deeply moving and inspirational feature story about Riehl online.