OSKALOOSA — Bruce Polen’s career as a William Penn football player was a transcendent one, and the NAIA gave notice to it on Tuesday as he was inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame as part of the 2020 NAIA National Awards Day.
Polen was a gridiron star from 1969-1972, helping the Statesmen to a 28-10 record during that time. The navy and gold won an Iowa Conference title in 1972, going 10-1 and defeating Emporia State in the Boot Hill Bowl.
A standout defensive back, Polen was a two-time All-American (1970, 1971) and three-time all-conference honoree (1970, 1971, 1972). He concluded his career with seven interceptions in 1970 and 14 overall.
Following his Statesmen career, he was drafted by the Oakland Raiders and spent time with that organization as well as that of the Kansas City Chiefs.
Polen is the second William Penn student-athlete to be inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame, joining Wilbur Young, a 2002 inductee.
“This is a great honor and I am so very proud to receive it,” Polen said. “It has to be said, though, that this accolade never would have happened had it not been for my great coaches and teammates. My time at William Penn is the most enjoyable football experience I ever had, even better than playing in the pros. I have so many fond memories of William Penn and am glad I was able to play there.”