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Marianne takes athletic helm at Manhattan

Manhattan College’s Marianne Reilly


By Rob Walsh

As part of her storied Manhattan College career, Marianne Reilly has been part of a good number of firsts in Manhattan College sports history.

She was a key part of the first women’s Division I basketball program.

She was the first 1,000-point scorer in school history.

She was the first woman to be inducted into Manhattan’s Athletic Hall of Fame.

She is the first woman athletic director in the school’s long history.

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And this evening, Marianne Reilly is one of the honorees at the Irish Echo’s third annual Community Champions Awards being held at Rosie O’Grady’s in Manhattan.

After graduating from Manhattan, Marianne taught, coached and earned her master’s degree in education administration.

She joined Fordham University’s Athletic Department and rose through the ranks.

At Fordham, Marianne oversaw the impressive renovation of a good number of Fordham’s facilities for intercollegiate athletics.

Now back at Manhattan, Marianne is making her mark on a number of fronts.

In December, she traveled to Belfast with the Manhattan College men’s basketball team to take part in the first-ever collegiate basketball games in the city.

The Jaspers opened the tournament with a victory.

Reilly is also determined to bring men’s baseball back to Riverdale.

Manhattan’s baseball team has a long and rich history dating back to 1861.

Games against rival Fordham date back to 1870 and have been played all across the Bronx, including Yankee Stadium.

From 2002–14, Manhattan played at nearby Van Cortlandt Park where they had an incredible 167-52 record on home turf.

Unfortunately, conditions at the Van Cortlandt ballfield deteriorated over the years, forcing Manhattan to find a new home sixty miles north at the Dutchess County Stadium.

Marianne has initiated conversations with the leadership at New York City’s Parks Department to restore the tired old ballfields at Van Cortlandt.

Reilly knows the powerful impact this new “field of dreams” can have in the community.

She wants to initiate baseball clinics and camps for local youth, so providing an opportunity to learn and play baseball, which through teamwork strengthen character, builds pride, and teaches skills for life.

This initiative is truly a nexus of baseball, neighborhood revitalization, a college leading investment strategies, and Irish lore – a veritable quadfecta.

With Reilly at the leadership helm, I am betting on another big win for Manhattan College, The Bronx and our city of New York.

Reilly is one of the honorees at the Irish Echo’s Third annual community Champions Awards being held this evening at Rosie O’Grady’s in Manhattan.