“Foot” Polichene was a teacher and a coach, but he was far more than that to his students. He was a positive influence, a role model, and a “straight shooter” and encouraged his students to never give up.
A 1947 Ravenna graduate, Nunzio “Foot” Polichene lettered in football and baseball and went on to play center and defensive lineman for Kent State. He lettered in 1950, but was drafted and served in the U.S. Armed Forces in the Korean Conflict where he received a Purple Heart. He returned to Kent where he lettered two more years. He was named to the 1953 all Mid-American Conference Honorable Mention Team, the 1954 all Ohio Team and went to the Refrigerator Bowl in Indiana. During this time, Kent’s record was 20-8, and “Foot” was considered the best center that Kent ever had. “Foot” graduated with a degree in education. At Ravenna he taught health and physical education and became the head of the department. He coached football under Harry Gilcrest and later became head coach. He also served as head wrestling coach, reserve basketball coach and head golf coach. During his tenure as head golf coach, his teams won two Metro League championships. “Foot” Polichene was loved and respected by his students and players and embodied the qualities that make a great teacher. He taught self-discipline, strength in the face of adversity, the importance of participating and of making a positive impact on the lives of others. Few people taught these lessons better than “Foot”.