Reilly Named GNAC Male Athlete of Year - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Reilly Named GNAC Male Athlete of Year

Posted: Updated:

SPOKANE, Wash. (June 3) -- Former Central Washington University quarterback Mike Reilly (Kalispell, Mont./Flathead HS) has been voted as the 2008-09 Great Northwest Athletic Conference Male Athlete of the Year, the conference office announced Wednesday.

Reilly, who was the GNAC Offensive Player of the Year in football and was the national runner-up for the Harlon Hill Trophy as the top player in Division II football, became the first CWU male student-athlete in the eight-year history of the conference to receive the award. Former Central volleyball player LeAnne McGahuey won the GNAC Female Athlete of the Year in 2005-06. The GNAC Athlete and Student-Athlete of the Year awards are nominated for and voted upon by athletic directors at the nine conference institutions.

In addition to his selection as the top male athlete in the conference, Reilly was announced as the CWU Male Athlete of the Year at the university's Athletics Hall of Fame banquet and induction ceremony this past Saturday, edging out former teammate Johnny Spevak (Edgewood, Wash./Puyallup HS) for the award.

Reilly is currently pursuing a professional career with the defending Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers, with whom he signed a free-agent contract on April 27.

Over the course of his senior season, he threw for 3,706 yards and 37 touchdowns with just six interceptions, helping lead the Wildcats to a 10-2 overall record, an 8-0 Great Northwest Athletic Conference mark, and the program's second consecutive trip to the NCAA Division II playoffs. He also broke virtually every career passing record in the history of the school (most of which had been held by NFL veteran Jon Kitna), including touchdown passes (118) and passing yards (12,448). He also established a NCAA all-divisions record by throwing at least one touchdown pass in all 46 career games.

In addition to his athletic accomplishments, Reilly was also a standout student. He completed degree requirements for his Bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering technology from CWU in December 2008 and graduated with a 3.59 grade-point average. He was a two-time CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District VIII College Division team selection, and was an academic all-conference choice in both the GNAC (2008) and the now-defunct North Central Conference (2006 and 2007).

All-Time GNAC Athletes-of-the-Year


Year            Male                                                                                                   Female

2001-02       Mike Hinshaw, Western Oregon (Football and Track & Field)         Stephanie Huffman, Seattle Pacific (Track & Field)

2002-03       Fred Hooks, Humboldt State (Basketball)                                         Kerie Hughes, Seattle Pacific (Basketball)

2003-04       Austin Nichols, Humboldt State (Basketball)                                    Liz Bishop, Western Washington (Volleyball)

2004-05       Chris Randolph, Seattle Pacific (Track & Field)                                Danielle Ayers-Stamper, Seattle Pacific (Track & Field)

                    Bobby McAlister, Seattle (Soccer)

2005-06       Chris Randolph, Seattle Pacific (Track & Field)                                LeAnne McGahuey, Central Washington (Volleyball)

                    Grant Dykstra, Western Washington (Basketball)

2006-07       Dustin Bremerman, Seattle Pacific (Basketball)                                 Jessica Pixler, Seattle Pacific (Track & Field and Cross Country

2007-08       David Registe, Alaska Anchorage (Track and Field)                          Courtney Schneider, Western Washington (Volleyball)

2008-09       Mike Reilly, Central Washington (Football)                                      Jessica Pixler, Seattle Pacific (Track & Field and Cross Country)