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Rutgers football letterwinner Bill Bolash passes away

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If you look at the Rutgers football record book, you won’t see his name among the leaders.

But he did average five yards a carry as a running back. And he scored six touchdowns; not in a game or a season, but in his career. His teammate, J.J. Jennings got the headlines and the yards and the TDs.

But he often sprang Jennings with his blocking and was as important a player for his team as any other.

Bill Bolash, ‘75, passed away on Monday of this week after a four year battle with liver cancer. He was 63.

Bill played three seasons and was a two year Letterwinner as a running back. A tad undersized for college football, he was, nonetheless, a tough competitor. Teammate Tony Pawlik recalled how then-head coach Frank Burns loved his spirit and attitude. And, as J.J. Jennings and others knew, he could block. Assistant coach Jim “Chief” Tagia loved the way Billy used to set up his blockers to get the best angles when blocking!

We don’t always write obituaries, and with so many athlete alumni, it’s pretty much impossible to do it on a regular basis. But this news came to me as a football letterwinner. And, maybe because I do the “historical” posts around here - and maybe because I remember Bill Bolash playing - it seemed important during football season to recall his time “on the banks”.

We pledge our faith to Alma Mater,

Our love to all the fond old scenes,

And e'er through life we stand together,

For love we bear to Queens.

For more information about Bill, you can visit www.wrightfamily.com. The family requested those intetested in making a memorial donation to consider Somerset Home for Temporary Displaced Children, P.O. Box 6871, Bridgewater, NJ 08807-0871.