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Remembering Michael Rivera: Clifton Coach, 37, Dies Suddenly

Clifton High School gym teacher and coach Michael Rivera died suddenly of a heart attack on Monday, March 13.
Clifton High School gym teacher and coach Michael Rivera died suddenly of a heart attack on Monday, March 13. Photo Credit: GoFundMe

CLIFTON, N.J. -- Michael Anthony Rivera, 37, a beloved Clifton coach from Nutley, died suddenly on Monday, March 13. He was 37.

A graduate of Clifton High School, he starred on the basketball and baseball teams and made his career there as physical education teacher and varsity basketball head coach.

He was formerly an assistant coach at Bloomfield and Kearny high schools and previously taught physical education at Newark Public Schools.

Beloved by his students and players, he fostered teamwork and loved to see them succeed. He was also known for performing magic tricks, his sense of humor, and for his beautiful spirit. His personality captivated all who knew him.

He was a graduate of Kean University in Union and attended Unity Church in Montclair.

Michael's pride and joy was his son, Jordan Anthony. He is survived by his beloved wife, Sophia (Vega) Rivera, his son, Jordan Anthony Rivera and his parents, Joe and Nilda Rivera. He also leaves his brother, Joseph Rivera and his wife, Diana, his nieces Alexa Marie and Gianna Rose Rivera and his cousin Christian Michael Gonzalez.

His sister set up a GoFundMe to help pay for funeral expenses and establish a college fund for son Jordon.

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