Cardinal Spellman High School names new athletic director

After three decades at Fordham University and seven years as athletic director at Manhattan College, Marianne Reilly is taking her talents to high school - accepting the job as the new athletic director at Cardinal Spellman.

Greg Thompson

Feb 15, 2024, 12:01 PM

Updated 159 days ago

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After three decades at Fordham University and seven years as athletic director at her alma mater, Manhattan College, Marianne Reilly is taking her talents to high school - accepting the job as the new athletic director at Cardinal Spellman.
"It's just a different vibe, it really is, it's all about the student athletes," Reilly says, "to be at the high school level, it's really nice to just refocus about what's important about athletics."
Her time at Manhattan ended on a down note. Reilly announced she was stepping down in June - just a few days before the NCAA released the results of an investigation finding that multiple student athletes who should have been ineligible to compete had suited up for the Jaspers anyway.
Reilly blames the violations on a diminished staff at the school, telling News 12 that almost everyone either quit or wanted to work remotely after COVID, so the athletics office had to be totally rebuilt. According to her, she only had one other staff member with her running the department, and nobody was in charge of compliance. Reilly tells News 12 that at the college level, with rules constantly changing, that makes the job almost impossible, and "it's really hard to make sure that you're dotting all the i's and crossing all your t's."
Looking back at her time in Riverdale, Reilly tells News 12 "I say, well we could have tried this, or we could have done that, but I went into Manhattan College saying I will always run a program with integrity, class and character, and I feel that I did."
Those are values she says she hopes to bring to Cardinal Spellman now. As a Kingsbridge native and graduate of Saint Barnabas High School, Reilly has a lifetime of experience at every level of Bronx Catholic School - which she can now pass to the next generation, saying she believes she's in perfect position to "mentor them a little bit about how you can put the academics and the athletics together and make yourself a real strong candidate for higher ed."
One of Reilly's biggest accomplishments at Manhattan was how she was able to upgrade the facilities there - and she says she wants to do the same at Spellman, already looking into ways to improve both the gym and the fields.
With the help of the board and alumni, Reilly says "there's a lot of potential here. when you can produce kids that are gonna go to Ivy League schools, now we just have to handle the athletic piece and get that up a little bit more and I think we will be - we'll be back to prominence."


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