Rick Reilly: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Rick Reilly and Donald Trump

Rick Reilly is a sportswriter who has written for Sports Illustrated, ESPN.com, and for ESPN’s own magazine. Reilly also is the author of many books. His latest book, due out in April 2019, is already attracting attention. It’s called “Commander-in-Cheat: How Golf Explains Trump.” According to Reilly’s own website, the new book is “an uproarious indictment of President Donald Trump and the many ways he cheats at golf, bullies with it, and fails to pay those who build his courses.”

Reilly routinely tweets criticisms of President Trump and makes no secret of his political views. Here’s what you need to know about Rick Reilly:

1. Reilly Writes that Trump ‘Cheats at the Highest Level’ When He Plays Golf

Reilly’s new book — “Commander-in-Cheat: How Golf Explains Trump” is full of first-hand accounts from people who have played golf with Donald Trump over the years. The book concludes that Trump is a cheater. “To say ‘Donald Trump cheats’ is like saying ‘Michael Phelps swims,’” Reilly writes, according to the New York Post. “He cheats at the highest level. He cheats when people are watching and he cheats when they aren’t. He cheats whether you like it or not. He cheats because that’s how he plays golf … if you’re playing golf with him, he’s going to cheat.”

2. Reilly Has Played Golf with Trump & Says the President Is Lying About His Handicap

Reilly’s book includes accounts from celebrities who have played golf against the president. It includes stories from rock star Alice Cooper, PGA Tour pro Brad Faxon, and boxer Oscar De La Hoya, among others. Samuel Jackson, for example, told Reilly that he once played golf against Trump and watched, with his own eyes, as the president hit the ball into a lake. Jackson said that Trump and his caddy pretended the ball had never gone into the water: “We clearly saw him hook a ball into a lake at Trump National [Bedminster, New Jersey],” he says, “and his caddy told him he found it!”

Reilly himself has hit the links with Donald Trump — and he says the president is a liar and a cheat when it comes to golf. Reilly says that when it comes to his golf handicap, the president is lying. In golf, the lower a player’s handicap is, the better a player he is. Trump claims that his handicap is 2.8 but, according to Reilly, that claim is nonsense. “If Trump is a 2.8,” writes Reilly, “Queen Elizabeth is a pole vaulter.”

3. Reilly Is Also a Screenwriter Who Co-Wrote the Script for ‘Leatherheads’

George Clooney Motorcycle Crash


Reilly co-wrote the screenplay for the 2008 film “Leatherheads,” which starred George Clooney and told the story of a 1925 football team. Reilly collaborated with Duncan Bradley to produce the script. Renee Zellweger and John Krasinski also starred in the movie.

Reilly has also authored a number of books, including a novel called Missing Links and a number of books about sports greats. He’s written biographies of Wayne Gretsky, Charles Barkley, and Brian Bosworth.

4. Reilly Has Been Married Twice & Said He Was ‘Literally Shaking’ When He Proposed to His Second Wife

Reilly was married to Lisa Campbell from 1983 until 2005. The couple has three children. In 2005, they divorced, and three years later Reilly married Cynthia Puchniarz. Reilly told a friend at the time that he was extremely nervous when he proposed to Puchniarz. “I was so nervous I was literally shaking,” he saied. “I was sweating through my shirt.” She said yes, and the couple has been married for over a decade now. They have homes in Hermosa Beach, California and in and Florence, Italy.

5. Reilly Grew Up in Colorado & Is an Amateur Magician

Reilly grew up in Boulder, Colorado and attended the University of Colorado. He says that he began his career as a sportswriter while he was in college, when he would collect the high school volleyball scores for his home town paper, the Daily Camera. After graduation, he went to work for the Camera and then went to work for the Denver Post. He later moved on to the Los Angeles Times, before moving to Sports Illustrated in 1985.

Reilly also says that he “speaks passable Italian” and has a number of hobbies, including playing the piano, paddle boarding, memory games, skiing and snowboarding. He considers himself an amateur magician.