Kevin Reilly’s story isn’t merely about survival. It’s a tale of overcoming tremendous adversities and realizing the potential to be a true champion.
When cancer surgery left Kevin Reilly without his arm, four ribs and a large portion of his left shoulder, many well-meaning people told Kevin he would no longer be able to carry on the life he’d been leading. Fortunately, Kevin ignored them. He went on to achieve incredible goals and overcome overwhelming obstacles that will make you marvel at the strength of the human spirit. Because when a human being is forced to come to terms with a serious disability, their personal victories frequently happen during those dark hours in the middle of the night when no fans will cheer for you and your toughest adversary is yourself.
Kevin Reilly was born in Wilmington, Delaware. From early childhood, he was recognized as an exceptional athlete. At Salesianum School, Kevin played both football and basketball. A born leader and strong motivating force on and off the playing field, he was chosen to be captain of both the varsity football team and basketball team.
A LEGACY AT VILLANOVA
Kevin’s natural leadership skills and athletic abilities secured him a full athletic scholarship to Villanova University. Fellow Villanova alumni include close friend and NFL great Howie Long and former Philadelphia Eagles All-Pro running back Brian Westbrook. While at Villanova, Kevin was voted the team’s MVP and first team All-East linebacker.
PRO FOOTBALL CAREER
In 1973, the World Champion Miami Dolphins drafted Kevin in the seventh round. Later that year, he returned to his hometown team of the Philadelphia Eagles, serving as captain of the special teams.
During his career in the NFL, Kevin played for the NFL coaching legends Don Shula, and Dick LeBeau. He also played with NFL greats Bill Bergey, Garo Yepremian, Harold Carmichael and Larry Csonka.
In 1975, Kevin’s NFL career was cut short when he was diagnosed with a rare desmoid tumor. To halt the spread of cancer, Kevin’s left arm, most of his shoulder and four ribs were amputated. He was told he’d never be able to tie his shoes or a tie, much less play sports. He didn’t listen.
LIFE AFTER FOOTBALL
After retiring from the NFL, Kevin worked as a Senior Executive in Sales and Marketing at the Xerox Corporation. During his 30-year career at Xerox, Kevin spent two years as the Employee Development Manager, training new and current employees in sales skills, quality training, diversity training and sexual harassment prevention. A qualified peer visitor at the Walter Reed National Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., he offers counseling to veteran amputees.
Kevin hosts the pre-game and post-game radio show for all Philadelphia Eagles games live on 94.1 WYSP-FM, Sports Radio 610WIP-AM and WDEl. He never gave up sports altogether – he is an avid runner and golfer, two of the many things people told him would be impossible after his surgery.
In addition to his announcing duties, Kevin is a Board member with the Easter Seals nonprofit charitable organization. He lends his talents to numerous charities and is an auctioneer for over a dozen auctions for various charities each year. After discovering how to overcome the challenges in his life, he works as a motivational speaker, delivering his inspirational message to audiences at corporate functions, commencement ceremonies, fundraisers and roasts.
In honor of his achievements on the field, Kevin was appointed to three sports halls of fame: Salesianum High School, Villanova University and the Delaware Sports Museum and Hall of Fame.