Zenon Andrusyshyn passed away on August 7, 2023, at the age of 76. His legacy as a skilled punter and kicker, as well as his dedication to ministry and community service, will always be remembered.
In today’s article, we take a look into his life as we find out more about what led to his death and how it all happened.
Who Is Zenon Andrusyshyn?
Zenon Andrusyshyn was a German-born Canadian Football League (CFL) punter and kicker.
He was best remembered for his stint with the Toronto Argonauts, but he also played for the National Football League’s (NFL) Kansas City Chiefs and the United States Football League’s (USFL) Tampa Bay Bandits. Andrusyshyn’s career spans two decades, from 1971 to 1977 and 1979 to 1982.
Andrusyshyn was born in Germany to Ukrainian parents and eventually migrated to Oakville Trafalgar High School in Ontario, Canada.
As a high school athlete, he set a javelin record that stood for 35 years. During the 1966 British Empire and Commonwealth Games, he also competed in track and field for the Canadian team, competing in the javelin throw, shot put and discus. With a throw of 242 feet 6 inches, Andrusyshyn even held the Canadian javelin record.
UCLA offered him a track and field scholarship to compete in the javelin throw, but he injured his elbow while training for the 1968 Summer Olympics.
Despite this setback, Andrusyshyn opted to test out for the UCLA football team, where he wowed the coaches by scoring 14 consecutive 45-yard field goals. He quickly rose through the ranks to become the team’s punter and placekicker.
Andrusyshyn had a great college career, leading the NCAA in punting with a 44.2-yard average as a sophomore. He also converted 11 of 24 field goal attempts that season.
His most memorable game, though, was against the University of Southern California, when he missed a critical extra point, costing his side the victory and the 1967 National Championship. Andrusyshyn’s kicking technique was criticised by USC head coach John McKay, who noted that he kicked with little leverage.
Andrusyshyn continued to shine as a senior, making 8 of 12 field goals and 33 of 44 extra points while also punting 42.1 yards on average. He was a two-time All-American punter and eventually named to UCLA’s All-Century Team.
Andrusyshyn was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the 1970 NFL Draught but was released before the season began. He later signed with the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League, where he had much success.
Notably, against the Edmonton Eskimos on October 23, 1977, he set a record with a 108-yard punt, which currently remains the longest punt in professional football history.
Andrusyshyn’s career also included stops with the Kansas City Chiefs of the NFL, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Edmonton Eskimos of the CFL, and the Tampa Bay Bandits of the USFL. He was an important member of these teams as a kicker and punter, receiving honours such as CFL East All-Star in two consecutive seasons.
Andrusyshyn had a full personal life away from the pitch. In 1969, he met his wife on the television show The Dating Game. That same year, he got a brief part in the television show Medical Centre.
Andrusyshyn pursued his interest for ministry after retiring from football. He was ordained as a preacher in the Southern Baptist denomination and earned a Master of Arts in Biblical Studies from Dallas Theological Seminary. He devoted his life to youth ministry, serving as the Tampa Area Director of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes for 20 years.
Zenon Ministries Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit youth ministry organisation, was created in October 2007 by Andrusyshyn and his wife.
He went on several mission missions, providing medical supplies to indigenous communities in Panama and cancer centres for children in Ukraine, among other noteworthy undertakings.
Zenon Andrusyshyn Cause Of Death
Zenon Andrusyshyn’s cause of death is unknown as there is no information about what led to his demise.