Hall of Fame - Inductee Detail

Jack Riley

Jack Riley


  • Position: Tackle
  • School: Northwestern
  • High School: Winnetka, IL (New Trier HS)\rDelafield, WI (St. John's Military Academy)\r
  • Years: 1929-1931
  • Inducted: 1988
  • Place of Birth: Chicago, IL
  • Date of Birth: Jun 13, 1909
  • Place of Death: Kenilworth, IL
  • Date of Death: Mar 22, 1993
  • Jersey Number: 37
  • Height: 6-2
  • Weight: 218

Member Biography

John Horn Riley, one of four brothers to play football for Northwestern University, was a key man in the school's glory years. Northwestern had a 20-5-1 record and won two Big Ten championships in his time. By later standards, Jack Riley would be considered a small tackle, at 6-2 and 218-pounds. But in 1931 he was the biggest man named to the All-America team. Riley wrestled at Northwestern and was the national collegiate heavyweight champion in 1931 and 1932. He also won a silver medal in wrestling in the 1932 Olympics. His third sport was rowing, and he captained a championship crew for St. John's Military Academy in 1927. Riley played pro football two years with the Boston Redskins and was a professional wrestler two years. He retired undefeated after 132 pro bouts. He entered the U.S. Marines in World War II and rose to the rank of major. After the war he worked as a manufacturer's representative, living in Kenilworth, Illinois, and for ten years, 1948-1957, was the Northwestern University wrestling coach.