Bill “Billy” Reilich, a 2013 Ohio Wesleyan graduate, recently appeared with three of his high school friends on the Ellen DeGeneres show after a music video created by the four young men singing of Ellen’s praises went viral and caught the talk show host’s eye.
Reilich and his friends – Dan Burtenshaw, Stevie Brock, and Dan Cox –are 2009 graduates of Centerville High School in Dayton, Ohio. In their interview with DeGeneres, they described how the local donut shop in their hometown is nationally recognized as being a great place to find amazing pastries, including cream pies. They were inspired by the name and christened their playful quartet “The Cream Pies.”
Despite the success of the video, Reilich said he isn’t a singer (crediting the catchy vocals to Stevie Brock) and “just performed this song for fun.”
Several videos that predate the Ellen tribute have the young men “rapping” and dancing as well. Though the friends have no plans to continue with the theatrical streak currently in progress, they also haven’t ruled out the idea just yet.
What little experience Reilich had in the performing arts was gained through a few church plays from when he was younger. At Ohio Wesleyan, he was a crucial varsity player throughout all four years on the OWU men’s basketball team and helped lead the team to a victory at the 2013 North Coast Athletic Conference Championship. He won the Battling Bishop Award in his senior year for demonstrating tremendous work ethic, leadership, and loyalty.
Reilich also was a member of Ohio Wesleyan’s Phi Delta Theta chapter. Corey Bottensek ’16, a current member of the fraternity, says Reilich left behind a lasting legacy.
“Billy was always helping people out when they needed it,” Bottensek says. “If he wasn’t at the house (Phi Delt) he was playing basketball or lifting weights. I only knew him for one semester, but during that time I learned a lot about him. His leadership and kindness were apparent to anyone who met him.”
Along with his recent fame from the Cream Pies video, Reilich has taken a job as a coach at Indiana University South Bend. The current head coach, Scott Cooper, worked as a coach at OWU while Reilich was on the team.
That tie and Reilich’s other connections to OWU remain strong.
“One of the best things about OWU,” he says, “was that I was taken out of my comfort zone, thrown into new situations with different people, and made to adapt to anything that life may send my way!”