Some 250 Ephs returned for the Nov. 12 Homecoming Weekend to honor football great Mike Reily ’64, who lost a courageous battle with Hodgkin’s disease shortly after his graduation from Williams.
Reily capped off a record-breaking season his sophomore year as the star of a now legendary homecoming win over Amherst 50 years ago. As a junior he earned Associated Press Small College All-American honors for the second year in a row. But after Thanksgiving break Reily’s teammates learned that their friend–described by classmate Jay Freedman ’64 as “a really gentle guy with this soft way about him that people respected”–was ill. In a matter of months it became apparent that Reily would be too weak to take the field his senior year. Nevertheless, Reily, who along with Ben Wagner ’64 had been elected co-captain, attended every practice and suited up for every game. He passed away just weeks after graduation, leaving an indelible impression on the Williams community.
Read more about Reily in the September 2011 Williams Alumni Review. (To read the text-only version, click here.) Williams alum Tim Layden ’78 profiled Reily in the Nov. 7, 2011, issue of Sports Illustrated. And these two great videos commissioned by Reily’s classmates depict the man and the game.
View below two great videos by Dave Simonds, commissioned by Reily’s classmates.
Tackle by Reily: A Tribute
The Game: Williams vs. Amherst, 1961