A former player for the University of Washington, Joe Jarzynka, has died, according to the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office.
At about 9:57 a.m. on Mar. 5, deputies responded to a report of a body found on a river bank in the Sol Duc River, near Forks.
The reporting party said the body was obviously dead and wearing a tan fishing vest.
Deputies later found a single-person pontoon boat stuck in a log jam about a mile from where the body was located.
The body was identified as 45-year-old Joseph D. Jarzynka of Tacoma, according to the Clallam County Coroner’s Office.
An autopsy is pending.
Jarzynka played for the Washington Huskies from 1996 to 1999.
According to a verified GoFundMe, set up to help his family, Jarzynka was born and raised in Michigan before his family moved to Gig Harbor in 1990.
“In 1995, Joe walked on to the University of Washington football team, where he won the hearts of his teammates and Husky Nation, as he earned a role as a kickoff and punt returner, then gradually as a receiver,” the GoFundMe continued. “His long flowing locks of hair and refusal to call a fair catch helped earn him widespread popularity.”
He is survived by his wife, Jen, and his two children, Madelin and Fisher.
So sad to hear the news of the passing of Joe Jarzynka. It’s impossible to explain the buzz that ran through Husky Stadium when Joe would drop into punt return formation. He was not going to fair catch. Everyone knew it. And he seemed to always pull it off. (Photo from UW) pic.twitter.com/1YdjWbtMB2— Mike Gastineau (@gasman206) March 6, 2023
Here's @SeaTimesSports coverage of the UW's 1998 win over Cal, probably the most memorable game of the late, great Joe Jarzynka's remarkable Husky career. pic.twitter.com/7ScY9i2da0— Husky Football News (@HuskyFBNews) March 6, 2023
My favorite Joe Jarzynka memory was against Cal in 1998. He housed a kickoff return for a TD, shook the fence and then was reminded he had to kick the PAT which he made. pic.twitter.com/vgDdrGydjD— Kris (@HuskiesFan19) March 6, 2023
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