During the 2012 season, Polian worked as the special teams coordinator/ tight ends coach at Texas A&M, helping the Aggies finish #5 in the country during the program’s first year in the SEC. From 2010-11, Polian served as the special teams coordinator, recruiting coordinator, and safeties coach at Stanford under Jim Harbaugh and David Shaw. From 2005-09, Polian served on Charlie Weis’ staff at Notre Dame. During that time, Rivals and ESPN named him one of the top recruiters in the country.
Previously, Polian spent stints at UCF, SUNY Buffalo, and Michigan State. His coaching career began at MSU under the legendary Nick Saban as an offensive graduate assistant.
Additionally, Polian served as a member of the inaugural College Football Officials Competition Committee, as well as the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Ethics Committee. In 2021, Polian authored a book, “Coaching Generation Z: Honor the Relationships.”
Polian is a piece of John Carroll’s NFL pipeline. His father, Bill, was an executive in the NFL for the Buffalo Bills, Carolina Panthers, and Indianapolis Colts and was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2015. The elder Polian helped to launch numerous NFL careers. Brian’s brother, Chris ‘93, along with Tom Telesco ‘95 and David Caldwell ‘96, worked for Bill with the Indianapolis Colts. Chris enters his 28th season in the NFL and his fourth as the Washington Commanders’ director of pro personnel. Telesco is now the General Manager of the Los Angeles Chargers.
Polian holds close ties with many current Blue Streaks, including former teammate and current head football coach, Jeff Behrman ’95, while Hall of Fame Head Athletic Trainer Don McPhillips once worked with Polian.
Polian will be a transformational leader for John Carroll Athletics during a critical time as the Blue Streaks continue to pursue national success. JCU has won a record seven-straight Ohio Athletic Conference Men’s All-Sports Trophies and currently stands 21st in the NACDA Learfield Directors’ Cup standings.
Polian will be the 12th full-time athletic director in John Carroll University history, following Rev. Edward Bracken (1920-1933), Ralph Vince (1934-1936), Tom Conley (1936-1943), Gene Oberst (1946-1951), Herb Eisele (1951-1970), John Keshock (1970-1978), Ron Zwierlein (1978-1981), Jerry Schweickert (1981-1986), Tony DeCarlo (1986-2003), Laurie Massa (2004-2018), and Michelle Morgan (2018-2023).
What They’re Saying
"I've known Brian for over 30 years. You will not find a more passionate nor enthusiastic personality. His experience as a longtime Division I football coach as well as his roots in Division III athletics will bring JCU a unique perspective for the student-athletes. Brian and his wife, Laura, will be a great addition to the JCU community."
–Tom Telesco ‘95, General Manager, Los Angeles Chargers
“Congratulations to Brian on being named the Athletic Director at John Carroll University. Brian’s 25 years of experience at multiple levels of College Football, including working at some of the top programs in the nation, will undoubtedly aid him as he transitions to his new role. Brian’s experience as a student-athlete will provide a unique perspective on campus and will be a big asset to the entire University. The Athletic program will be in good hands with Brian at the helm.”
–Nick Caserio ‘98, General Manager, Houston Texans
“As a member of the search committee for our new Athletic Director, I am excited about the news of Brian Polian being selected to lead JCU Blue Streaks into a promising future of success both on and off the competitive venues. Brian brings an exciting approach to leadership from which we are eager to learn and grow within our department to the betterment of our Men and Women of Carroll.”
–Michele Benoit, Head Volleyball Coach
"Brian Polian has been a key figure in the success of our programs at Notre Dame and LSU as a coach, recruiter, and administrator. I have no doubt that he will use his knowledge, experience, and passion for people to make John Carroll University and Blue Streak athletics better in the future. We would like to wish Brian, Laura, and the family all the best as they embark on this new endeavor."
–Brian Kelly, Head Football Coach, LSU
“Brian Polian represents a home run hire. His outstanding set of professional experiences, coupled with his institutional connectivity and profound love for John Carroll University, made him an extraordinary candidate, and ultimately the absolute perfect choice! Unqualified congratulations to both Brian and Laura, and to JCU.”
– Kevin White, Ph.D., Vice President and Director of Athletics Emeritus, Duke University
“I am extremely excited that Brian Polian is returning to lead the athletic department. My former Blue Streak teammate and coach at Stanford brings a tremendous wealth of experience and expertise that will be of great benefit to the university and the student athletes that will compete at John Carroll now and in the future.”
– Greg Roman ‘94, longtime NFL football coach
"Brian Polian is an inspired choice to lead John Carroll University into a new era of college athletics. He has an understanding of college athletics and its power to educate young men and women, a wealth of experience at some of America's leading universities, and a passion for his alma mater. The future for the Blue Streaks is bright under the leadership of Coach Polian."
–Jack Swarbrick, Vice President and James E. Rohr Director of Athletics, University of Notre Dame