Swimming Loses its Golden Voice: Kevin Polansky

We have just learned of the passing of Kevin Polansky, the “voice” of the NAIA National Championships, the NCAA Division II National Championships, the Bluegrass Mountain Conference Championships, and a host of other swim meets, large and small.

I am personally heartbroken. Kevin is one of the first people I met, the first time I put on a SwimSwam shirt, at the 2013 NAIA National Championships in Oklahoma City. He immediately welcomed me and treated me with such respect that he gave me the confidence I didn’t really have (or deserve, even) to cover my first meet for SwimSwam. Kevin had a warm and caring approach to his announcing, as if each swimmer was one of his own. He knew how to pronounce all their names, he knew their stories, and he helped more than one break pool, meet, conference, and national records by getting the crowd to rally behind the swimmer. I continued to cover the BMC Championships, although my own child had finished swimming there, to hear Kevin on the live stream.

Kevin swam in college at Minnesota State University, Mankato, where he was captain of the men’s team and Swimmer of the Year in 1972-73. He spent 20 years teaching PE and social studies in the Thompson R-2J School District and was Aquatic Director and Head Swimming and Diving Coach. He was named Colorado high school Coach-of- the-Year on four occasions.

Kevin was a longtime coach at Loveland Swim Club and founded Loveland Masters Swim Club in 1978. He  has held numerous Masters world records and national records, and he ran the first Masters training camp at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in the summer of 1993. Kevin touched the lives of countless members of the international swimming community and he will be greatly missed.

 

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Brad Flood

I was so deeply saddened, dare I say crushed, when I received the news of My Brother Kevin’s passing early this morning. I came to know Kevin through his passion (it was never a job) as the meet announcer at the NCAA Division II Championships back in 2005. In fact I likely had my first conversation with him in that role providing phonic spellings of my international swimmers at the meet and we continued those conversations on that particular subject for the next 10 years. Indeed, numerous swimmers & relays of mine benefitted from his encouraging the crowd to “get ’em moving” towards NCAA Championships & Records. On behalf of them all, Thank You Kevin! I, and my partner Lorrie,… Read more »

Paul Mangen

Brad- great suggestion, Hawiian shirt it will be for me!

Geoff Hanson

Very sad day. Kevin was one of the kindest people in our sport and made everyone, athlete and coach, feel special. He will be greatly missed.

Stormin\' NS

So sorry to learn of this! Kevin loved the many aspects of swimming and gave much back to the sport. I was fortunate to train with “Pol-Dog” for several years in the late 90’s in Fort Collins. Our paths crossed several times when he came to announce meets in Charlotte, NC. He will be sorely missed by the swimming community and the many who called him friend. Rest in peace amigo!

About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swim/swam in college. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD, she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently …

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