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Rick Reilly has been named National Sports Writer of the Year a whopping 11 times. Last month, Reilly won the prestigious Damon Runyon Award for Outstanding Contributions to Journalism. By winning the Runyon Award, he now shares the company of such people as George Will, Tom Brokaw and Ted Turner.
So it’s for good reason that Reilly’s been called the Tiger Woods of sports columnists.
From 1997 to 2007, Reilly wrote the back-page sports column in Sports Illustrated, titled “Life of Reilly.” After a 23-year career with Sports Illustrated, Reilly left the magazine to join ESPN and ABC. With ESPN, Reilly has taken his whimsical brand of journalism to TV, as well as keeping a regular writing gig within the pages of ESPN: The Magazine and online at ESPN.com. He also covers golf for ESPN, as well as hosting an interview show called “Homecoming,” where he speaks with famous sports figures in their hometowns.
Though Reilly has never written about a superintendent, he knows them well — he signed hundreds of autographs for them at a Syngenta party at the Golf Industry Show in 2004. “I’ve never been offered so much free golf in my life,” Reilly said of the experience. Still, he’s always open to new story ideas, and encourages superintendents — especially those who have, uh, overcome great adversity — to share their stories with him via his Web site, www.RickReillyonline.com.
For more of GCM’s interview with Reilly, which includes a story of him getting kicked off the course at Denver Country Club as a teenager, visit GCM’s blog at http://gcm.typepad.com.
— Seth Jones, senior associate editor