Hall of Famer John Polish Passes Away

Today, the 10 members of the Nevada Athletics Hall of Fame committee plan to meet to start selecting the next class of talented former student-athletes and coaches who will join that prestigious group this fall.

But as we prepare for that meeting, we learned this morning that a member of that prestigious Nevada Athletics Hall of Fame, John Polish, passed away on Monday at the age of 95.

John Polish was truly a legendary athlete in the state of Nevada, not just for his accomplishments as a football and track athlete at the University of Nevada from 1938-42. His exploits in high school were well-known and his lasting impact is still felt today as the top athlete at Yerington High School receives the John Polish Award. Below is a photo of Polish in action, carrying the ball in a 1940 game against BYU.

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Polish was a member of the second class inducted into the Nevada Athletics Hall of Fame in 1974. The press release at the time said this about him:

"Considered one of Nevada's top all-time high school athletes, John Polish entered the University of Nevada in the late 30s to star in football and track. Raised in Yerington, Nevada, Polish was a sensation at his high school. He was a super-gridder, good basketball player and did everything in track -- sprints, hurdles, weights, jumps. Although hampered at Nevada by injuries, Polish led the Wolf Pack in competition in the late 1930s. He was a hard-running halfback in football and a superb punter. In track, Polish won Far Western Conference titles in weights, jumps and hurdles."

After his college career was over, Polish went on to a career of public service, spending over 30 years as a teacher, principal and superintendent. He also served in the Nevada State Legislature. He continued to attend the yearly Nevada Athletics Hall of Fame Dinner when he could.

Dan Hinxman of the Reno Gazette-Journal wrote a great story on Polish in today's paper. Our condolences go out to Polish's friends and family.

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