Iowa Football

Former Iowa football All-American, broadcaster Mike Reilly dies

Dubuque native played in Super Bowl with Minnesota Vikings

Iowa’s Mike Reilly (61), Paul Krause (16) and Wally Hilgenberg (67) carry the Floyd of Rosedale trophy off the field after a 27-13 win over Minnesota on Nov. 9, 1963. (The Gazette)
Iowa’s Mike Reilly (61), Paul Krause (16) and Wally Hilgenberg (67) carry the Floyd of Rosedale trophy off the field after a 27-13 win over Minnesota on Nov. 9, 1963. (The Gazette)

Mike Reilly, who was All-Big Ten and All-America for Iowa and played in the NFL with the Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings, died Friday in Dubuque. He was 77.

Born on March 27, 1942, Mike “The Hammer” Reilly graduated from Dubuque Senior in 1960. He was all-Mississippi Valley Conference first team pick in 1958 and 1959, and an all-state pick in 1959.

He played for the Hawkeyes, and earned All-Big Ten and All-American honors at guard in 1963.

During his senior season, Dubuque had planned to enjoy “Mike Reilly Day” in Kinnick Stadium, but after John F. Kennedy was shot, the plans were canceled.

Reilly went on to play in the East-West Shrine Game and the Hula Bowl that year and was selected by the Chicago Bears in the fourth round of the NFL Draft.

Reilly played for the Bears from 1964 to 1969, then was traded to the Dallas Cowboys. He was released and joined the Minnesota Vikings for a year, playing in the Super Bowl before retiring in 1970.

He joined First National Bank of Dubuque and after a long career in banking, retired as a branch manager and marketing director of State Central Bank in July of 2004.

During his post-NFL career in Dubuque, he was President of the Turf-Boosters Club, chaired the recreation and playground commission in 1978, and for 19 years did color commentary for Iowa football on the radio.

Reilly was elected to the Iowa Athletics Hall of Fame in 2005.

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