Former UW football star Joe Jarzynka found dead in river

The tragic news came as Former UW (University of Washington) football star Joe Jarzynka found dead in river.

A report from Clallam County Sheriff’s Office read that a man identified as Jarzynka was found dead Sunday morning along the Sol Duc River in the Olympic Peninsula. 

Joe Jarzynka found dead
Joe Jarzynka found dead

Details of Former UW football star Joe Jarzynka found dead in river

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.

Upon found dead, the body was cold and wearing a tan fishing vest, which was then identified as 45-year-old Joseph D. Jarzynka of Tacoma, according to the Clallam County Coroner’s Office.

An autopsy is pending to find out the cause of Joe’s death.

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.

Jarzynka played for the Washington Huskies from 1996 to 1999 and was a famous name in town.

“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.

Joe Jarzynka – A man of record

Joe was no short of fame during his prime at the game.

His greatest game came that same season against Cal at Husky Stadium when he returned a punt 91 yards for a touchdown and set a team record with 166 punt return yards, at the time a Pac-10 record.

At the end of the season he was named as the team’s KIRO-TV/Pete Gross Player of the Year.

The following year, Joe was part of the key play of UW’s 24-14 win over WSU in the Apple Cup when he caught a 55-yard TD pass on a trick play, the pass coming from fellow former walk-on receiver Dane Looker.  

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