John Carroll University Names Brian Polian ’97 as Director of Athletics

Alumnus brings 25 years of Division I leadership and coaching experience to JCU

UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS, Ohio, May 2, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — John Carroll University in Cleveland today announced that Brian Polian, a 25-year veteran of collegiate sports leadership, has been named the next Director of Athletics, effective May 22, 2023. A member of the John Carroll Class of 1997, Polian most recently served as Associate Athletics Director and General Manager of Football at Louisiana State University (LSU) after spending a season under Brian Kelly as Special Teams Coordinator. Prior to LSU, he was special teams coordinator at the University of Notre Dame, Texas A&M, and Stanford and head football coach at Nevada.

“I am pleased to welcome Brian Polian back to John Carroll University as the next leader of our Athletic Department and an impactful partner for our faculty, staff, coaches, and leadership team,” said Alan R. Miciak, Ph.D., president of John Carroll University. “Brian’s experience at the Division I level and his understanding of our institutional mission will add another layer of excellence to our Inspired Futures strategy that focuses on academic rigor, experiential opportunities including highly competitive athletics, and personal formation for our students.” 

A native of Buffalo, New York, and St. Francis High School graduate, Polian’s father, Bill, was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2015. The younger Polian graduated from John Carroll in 1997 with a B.A. in History following a four-year stint on the JCU Football Team. Polian earned All-OAC Second Team honors in 1996, playing alongside College Football Hall of Fame member London Fletcher.

“In 25 years of coaching, I have moved all over the country. There are only a handful of places that have felt like home. John Carroll University and Northeast Ohio has always been one of those places,” said Polian. “I am very grateful to President Miciak for the opportunity to bring our family back to a community that we care for so deeply. It is truly a blessing, and we are incredibly excited to take on this new challenge.”

He continued, “My time at JCU was transformational in my development as a person. The relationships I developed on campus with classmates, teammates, faculty, and staff were some of the most meaningful in my life. It is an honor to lead the athletic department and work alongside the leadership of the University as John Carroll moves into a bright future.”

About John Carroll University
John Carroll University is a leading Jesuit Catholic liberal arts university preparing a diverse student body to face tomorrow’s challenges strategically. Through academic rigor, experiential learning, and the Jesuit ideal of care for the whole person, John Carroll is continually creating future leaders. They will serve society with developed critical thinking skills, a strong moral foundation, and an awareness of the greater good. Visit

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SOURCE John Carroll University