Jim Reilly ’66 Award presented to Jack Kneisley ’19

Jim Reilly '66, Hackley's most prominent football alumnus, arrived on the Hilltop in 1961 and excelled at sports winning numerous track awards. He was named captain of the football team his senior year. After graduating, Jim was a starting offensive tackle at the University of Notre Dame, where he played from 1966 to 1970. While at Notre Dame, he was named to the Kodak All-American team and to the College Sports Information Directors All-American team.

The Buffalo Bills chose Jim in the third round of the 1970 NFL draft and he was a starting offensive lineman his first two years. His professional career was cut short in 1972 after his kidney was injured during a scrimmage. In 1994 Jim died tragically young, at age 46, admired, missed and loved by his former classmates and teammates.

On  Alumni Day 2001, Jim's Hackley number 74 was retired. In his memory, classmates, teammates, family and friends established the Jim Reilly '66 Award which s given to the member of the football team who is always ready to help the other guy up. While he is a good player, he is better known as the reliable teammate who puts the team ahead of himself. He devotes his fullest effort to his studies as well as his sport. He distinguishes himself through hard work, compassion and sportsmanship. He is always there. He is a friend.  

This year, Jim's formeer teammate, Mike Thomas ’65, addressed the team at the Annual Hackley Varsity Football Dinner and assisted in the presentation of the Jim Reilly ’66 Award to Jack Kneisley ’19.