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.