Former Pole Vault World Record Holder George Varoff Passes Away

Jan. 25, 2002

SAN ANTONIO, Texas - Former two-time Duck All-American and pole vault world record holder George Varnoff died on Thursday, January 10. He was 87.

The San Francisco native was a standout at the University of Oregon under legendary coach Bill Hayward, and used a bamboo pole to set the world record of 4.43 meters/14 feet, 6.50 inches on July 4, 1936 in Princeton, N.J.

He claimed All-America honors for the Ducks in 1936 and 1937 with marks of 14-6 1/2 and 14-7 5/8, respectively, and won national AAU titles both years with marks of 14-6 and 14-7 (tie), respectively.

The 1939 World University Games champion, Varoff was a captain in the Army Air Forces in World War II. During the war his B-29 bomber was shot down over Japanese-occupied China, and he was listed as missing in action for some time. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Varoff arrived back in San Francisco in April 1945.

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