Passages: Kevin Polansky, 67, Longtime Coach, NCAA Announcer Dies

Photo Courtesy: University of Northern Colorado Athletics

Kevin Polansky, a local legend in the Loveland, Colorado area, died at a masters swim practice over the weekend in Loveland.

He was treated with CPR until an ambulance arrived after he stopped at the end of the pool during a workout and became unresponsive, according to multiple news outlets. He was transported to Medical Center of the Rockies in Loveland where he died. His cause of death has not been released.

Polansky founded Loveland Masters Swimming in 1978, just shortly after US Masters Swimming was created in 1970. He was also a longtime coach for the Loveland High School team. He was Colorado High School Coach of the Year four times during his tenure as head coach. Polansky was also a successful masters swimmer, where he held multiple national-level Masters records.

“He was a wonderful coach,” said Bonnie McDermid, a parent of two that swam under Polansky. “He cared about kids. He just went that extra mile,” she told The Coloradoan.

Polansky was a big fixture on the NCAA Division II scene and the NAIA national championships, where he was the PA announcer for multiple NCAA Division II national championships and NAIA nationals, as well as an official at many competitions from multiple levels.

“He’s going to be missed,” Loveland HS principal Todd Ball told the Loveland Reporter-Herald. “He’s part of the history of Loveland swimming.” Ball swam for Polansky in high school.

Polansky was practicing with the Loveland Masters Swim Club at the time of his death on Saturday morning. A member of the group told the Fort Collins Coloradoan that Polansky had recently told several friends that he felt when it was his time to die, it would be in the water.

— CBS Denver and The Coloradoan contributed to this report.


  1. avatar
    rob davis

    It is with with heartfelt sadness that I read this article on Kevin. I met Kevin when he competed in the 2001 Canadian Masters Swimming Championships and kept in touch with him. He was a true friend and a wonderful ambassador to swimming. His kindness and generosity is going to be missed by all who had the good fortune to meet him.

  2. avatar
    Frank R Comfort

    He inspired many people beyond just his swimmers….a fine person. RIP Kevin.

  3. avatar
    Steve Hugo

    Kevin is from my home town but 8 years older. When I was a freshman in HS he returned to visit his HS swim coach over holiday break and from the deck coaxed me into working harder than I had ever done before. I went on to win 3 state titles as a junior and senior. Part of the credit goes to Kevin. For the last 40 years he would always find a way to keep in touch. So many people can give credit to Kevin for making them a better person.

  4. avatar

    I was so deeply saddened, dare I say crushed, when I received the news of My Brother Kevin’s passing early Saturday 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 benefited 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, became very close friends with Kevin after retiring from coaching in 2014. I was just last week discussing plans for him to come visit us for some SCUBA diving, Tequila, beer and most assuredly plenty of laughing, crying & hugging after this year’s NCAA’s.

    God broke the mold after Kevin joined us here on Earth, but He obviously needs him back in his flock in Heaven, more than we need him here.

    God Speed My Brother. You passed doing your (OUR) PASSION. You will be forever alive in my Heart, Mind & Soul.

    While I am no longer amongst the “active” roster of DII coaches, may I suggest that at Finals on Wednesday night of the 2018 NCAA Division II Swimming & Diving Championships, that ALL Head Coaches (at least!) wear the wildest, floweriest, brightly colored, button down Hawaiian shirts to honor Kevin’s PASSION, participation and true CARING from the Heart for our Division & Sport!!

  5. avatar
    Dave Albee

    This is stunning and such sad and heatbreaking news. I go back 40 years with Kevin to 1977 when I became sports editor at the Loveland Reporter Herald and knew nothing about the competitive nature of the sport of swimming and the fraternity and friendship that surrounded it. Kevin and Thompson Valley High School coach Dick Hewson were kind and patient with me and their knowledge and passion willed me to both understand and appreciate the sport. Kevin left such a lasting impression with his smile and exuberant personality and his enthusiasm, dedication, and compassion for the swimmers be coached and met. I have met many high school coaches across the country since leaving Loveland in 1981, but few made such an positive impact and left such fond memories with me. Thank you, Kevin. RIP.

  6. avatar
    Denise Martinez

    I was shock to hear about Coach Polansky passing:(
    Loveland High Finest!
    God Speed Coach