In Memory

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Michael Reily

more information about Mike's life can be found in a family scrapbook by going to

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07/02/13 10:07 AM #1    

John Cannon

Gentle Giant

Mike Reily put the Williams Class of 1964 on the map.

In the fall of 1960, as soon as football got underway, the whole college, the whole town, and the whole small-college athletic circuit knew who Mike Reily was.

In an elite eastern college, known for academics and endowments, and high-placed alumni, there is nothing -- absolutely nothing -- more exciting than a legitimate Football Hero.  Whew !  Finally, a smart-guy superstar !

But, to those of us who lived in Entry C of Williams Hall in the Freshman Quad, Mike was not the BMOC, not the “terror of the eastern gridiron.”  Sure, we were proud as hell that we knew Mike, and glad to have him on our side during the mock wars between Sage Hall and Williams Hall, but to us, Mike was Mike -- another “little” freshman, a guy who slept and studied and brushed his teeth in the same dorm as we did.  A guy with a soft southern voice that was gentle and friendly.  Just another guy who sat around and swapped lies with Louie the Janitor.  Just another “newbie” seeing if he could make it here in this high-pressure academic arena.

And it was this quiet, gentle, friendly -- yes, sweet -- young Mike Reily that I knew and admired and grieved for then, and whom I grieve for now.


John Cannon

Entry C

Williams Hall

Class of 1964

08/23/20 01:43 PM #2    

Dick "Skip" Dunn

In November 2014 the Class of 64 gathered for Homecoming Weekend to dedicate the Mike Reily Room in the new Weston Field House.  A beautifully done video of the events can be found in our '64 Videos.

One for the speakers included in the Video is Sports Illustrated writer, Tim Layden '78, wrote a truly unforgettable story about The Forgotton Hero which can be found at 

and a subsequent Sports Illustrated Q&A with Tim can be found at

Skip Dunn

08/24/20 08:58 AM #3    

Jay Freedman

As a fellow traveler of Entry C, I can only echo what John Mike was a unique person. Amazinly, the Entry was also blessed by the presence of John’s roomie, Joel Reingold. He enjoyed a longer, but still too short, a life. Two very different , but unforgettable, friends. Both part of what made Williams a special place.


08/25/20 02:05 PM #4    

Mark Smith

Monster left! The lithe linebacker with the pleasant southern accent floated behind the line. It was a pleasure playing with Mike on our Freshman team.

And watching how he dealt with his terminal disease our senior year was inspiring.

Mike deserves all the praise and respect he posthumously received. He was a great athlete, teammate and a stand-up guy. 





08/27/20 05:56 PM #5    

Charles Heywood

A lesser known chapter in the life of Mike Reily, Entry C, was his role in our frequent third floor, cross-hall skirmishes.  In the annals of those engagements, of course, at least from our side, Mike was far from the mythic hero he came later to be.  No, to Dick Plumer and me, Mike, with roommate Alex Branch, was an artful schemer for whom no tactic was too unscrupulous. (Tommy Todd and Jeff Hausdorf were mostly innocent bystanders.) One day my roommates and I, trusting souls that we were, left our door unlocked, giving Mike an opportunity to slip in and "borrow" Dick's floor lamp.  Guessing where it had gone, Dick and I retaliated by holding hostage the package of newly delivered clean laundry outside Mike and Alex's door.  Predictably a loud knock soon shook our now locked door.  When the enemy force, of two, demanded their laundry back, we refused, believing we held the upper hand in plunder.  The standoff didn't last long.  Minutes later, Mike and Alex were back at our door with wastebaskets of water from the 4th floor bathroom, which they threatened to pour under our door.  We never actually believed they would do it, an assumption that proved both naive and very wet.  When the pool reached our carpet, we further escalated the conflict, calling out through the door the identity of each item of clothing we were using so soak up the mess.  That led to a quick cease fire—much to our relief, as Mike and Alex towered over the two of us and outweighed us by close to a hundred pounds, a doomsday advantage they fortunately refrained from using. Thus to Dick and me, the ensuing exchange of booty--dusty old floor lamp for a pile of soggy laundry--felt very much like victory.

Chuck Heywood

Augusta, GA

09/07/22 03:21 PM #6    

Robert Furey

an interesting additional link to Mike's scrpbook is


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