Former Vols LB/FB Gordon Polofsky dies at 82

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT/SUBMITTED) -- Gordon Polofsky, a former linebacker and fullback on Tennessee’s 1950 and 1951 national championship teams, died today at his home in West Knoxville. Polofsky was 82.

Originally from Cranston, R.I., Polofsky was coached by Gen. Robert Neyland from 1948-1951. During his three varsity seasons, the Vols compiled a 28-4-1 record.

The 1950 Tennessee team won the school’s third national championship and finished 11-1. UT’s only loss that season was a 7-0 decision at Mississippi State in September, and the Vols went on to defeat Texas, 20-14, in the Cotton Bowl.

Known for his run-stopping ability, Polofsky’s career highlight came on a fourth-quarter, goal-line stand against Washington & Lee, preserving a 27-20 Tennessee victory on Oct. 28, 1950.

The 1951 national champion Vols finished the regular season 10-0 and extended their winning streak to 20 games.

Polofsky was named to the AP All-SEC Second Team and played in the Senior Bowl at Ladd Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala., in 1951.

Polofsky, who was drafted by the Los Angeles Rams in the fifth round of the 1952 NFL Draft, went on to play three seasons for the Chicago Cardinals.

He is survived by his wife Charlotte and several children and grandchildren.


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