Reilly leaves Sports Illustrated to join ESPN

BRISTOL, Conn. -- Rick Reilly is joining ESPN to write a back-page column for ESPN The Magazine, write for ESPN.com and contribute essays to ESPN television coverage.

Reilly, who wrote for Sports Illustrated for 22 years, will join ESPN on June 1, 2008.

Reilly will write bi-weekly for ESPN The Magazine and ESPN.com. He is also scheduled to contribute essays to ESPN SportsCenter as well as contributing to ESPN's coverage of events such as The Masters, the U.S. Open, the British Open and the Ryder Cup.

"Rick has been a premier voice of sports commentary for more than 20 years and we are thrilled and honored to add his considerable talents to ESPN's outlets," said ESPN executive vice president John Skipper in a news release. "The outstanding insights, reporting, and humor of his weekly column will continue, and fans will now be able to enjoy Rick's work through television."

Said Reilly in the release: "This is an itch I've wanted to scratch for a long time. For a guy who loves sports, ESPN is the ultimate. I feel like a mouse locked in a cheese store. I don't know where to start first. I'm thrilled with the opportunity to speak to a whole new audience in a whole new way."

ESPN The Magazine editor in chief Gary Hoenig said that: "With Rick joining Bill Simmons, our readers will now enjoy the two best sports columnists anywhere."

Reilly is an 11-time national sportswriter of the year. Prior to Sports Illustrated, he worked at the Denver Post and Los Angeles Times, in addition to starting his career at the Boulder (Colo.) Daily Camera.