Who Was Joe Jarzynka? How Did He Die? Find Out What Happened To Former Football Player

Joe Jarzynka, an ex-University of Washington football player who attracted a sizable fan base with his versatility and personality, was discovered dead on the banks of the Sol Duc River on Sunday while out fishing.

Joe Jarzynka
Joe Jarzynka; image credit – The Seattle Times

Joe Jarzynka’s Death

The suddenness of Jarzynka’s passing won’t immediately hit home with the hordes of Husky supporters who idolized him and thought he could handle anything. Around 10 a.m. on Sunday, Clallam County Sheriff’s Deputies were called to a complaint of a man who had died on a riverbank outside of Forks. The reporting party stated that a man wearing a tan fishing vest was dead, according to the report. Within a mile of where the dead man was discovered, they discovered a single-person pontoon boat stranded in a log jam. Authorities received confirmation from family members that he traveled in a boat that suited that description and had gone to the area to go fishing.

Joe Jarzynka: Star Player Of The Huskies

The 45-year-old Jarzynka was a wide receiver, fullback, and special teams star for the Huskies from 1996 to 1999. He additionally worked as the placekicker for an entire season. Fans adored this player for his bravery on the field he firmly declined to contact for a fair catch on a punt and had long hair that flowed out the back of his helmet. In reality, Jarzynka’s supporters established a fan group.

Joe Jarzynka’s Football Career

Jarzynka, a former walk-on from Gig Harbor who played in 30 games and started three, stunned every individual by returning a punt 91 yards for a score against California and making a 44-yard goal against Washington State. He was given a scholarship by Jim Lambright’s team as a third-year sophomore. As a senior in 1998, he amassed 166 punt-return yards against Cal, which includes his go-ahead runback, and was named the Pac-10 Special Teams Player of the Year. Jarzynka earned first-team All-Pac-10 recognition for his versatility during that same season.

With kickoff returns of 50 yards against San Diego State, 43 yards against Notre Dame, and 38 yards against UCLA, he kept spectators on the edge of their seats. Jarzynka was the CEO of Steelhead Companies, a Tacoma real estate investment company.

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