5 Facts To Explore About WSU Kicker Dean Janikowski

Dean Janikowski is a Washington State freshman kicker born to his parents, Dan and Heather Janikowski. 

Janikowski came from a family of five with two siblings, one sister, and one brother. And he is the oldest of them. His parents instilled a strong sense of leadership from an early age, which served him well throughout his professional career and contributed to his leadership attitude.

His close-knit family was originally from the city of Fallbrook in California. His family makes their living via farming and animal husbandry, which is in his family’s blood. As a direct consequence, when Dean was a little child, he was responsible for caring for nine piglets and steers.

In NCAA football, the 24-year-old young football kicker scored a 23-yard field goal against Arizona Wildcats on Sunday, November 20, 2022. As a result, his team Washington State Cougars secured a 20-31 win making it their third victory in a row.

1. Dean Janikowski Parents Dan and Heather Janikowski Are From Fallbrook, California

Dean Janikowski was born to his parents, his father, Dan, and his mother, Heather Janikowski. 

He had a safe and nurturing upbringing with his parents. Dean came from a middle-class family in Fallbrook, California. He was born into a Catholic family, and his religious upbringing significantly impacts how he lives his life.

Because his football kicker father, Dan, runs a cattle-rearing business, most of the football kicker’s boyhood was spent helping raise cattle and other animals.

And all the teaching he received from his parents helping him on the field. He has this leadership mentality instilled in his parents, Dan and Heather. On the pitch, he has been informed that he is highly coachable and respected by his teammates and coaches.

Janikowski shared pictures on his Instagram with his parents on the day of his high school graduation in June 2019. He uploaded two images, one in the past before joining the college and one after graduation.

In addition, Dean has helped his family and has raised pigs and steers during his childhood days. He said that having responsibility for animals has given him a wealth of insight into life and dedication. 

2. Dean Janikowski Mother Heather Was A Cancer Survival

Dean Janikowski’s mom Heather won the battle with cancer twice in her life, for which he is thankful to God.

“I thank God for allowing her to be here with us.” He said. However, she had to undergo therapy time and again, but despite her best efforts, the illness ultimately proved too much for her to overcome, and on January 19, 2022, she perished away.

Dean had a normal, if not sound, life until 2012, when his mother was diagnosed with cancer. Heather was diagnosed with breast cancer in November 2012, and doctors said she only had a few months to live.

She first had chemotherapy before undergoing a double mastectomy. The physicians were sure that they had removed everything, and after a significant amount of healing, her mother was deemed to be in remission in the year 2013.

Heather remained in relapse until 2018 when she began experiencing severe headaches; doctors determined that the breast cancer had spread to other regions of her body, including her brain.

However, she was still able to undergo treatment for the disease. In 2019, she successfully beat cancer for the second time and went into remission after undergoing radiation treatment to her brain and immunotherapy. But unfortunately, in the year 2020, it was discovered again in her lung and in her brain.

Sadly his mother passed away on January 19, 2022, even after she came victorious in two outings with cancer. 

3. Dean Janikowski Has Two Siblings, A Brother And A Sister

WSU placekicker Janikowski has two siblings. His brother’s name is Jack, and his sister is Megan.

Dean is the oldest of the three, as he was born first to their parents, Dan and Heather. They all grew up playing together in California. Dean and his sister Megan pursue sports careers when they age. She plays collegiate soccer for Western New Mexico University.

Janikowski moved to Western New Mexico University from Eastern New Mexico University, where she played all 18 games during the fall season of 2021.

Both his siblings attended Cathedral Catholic High School like him. However, Megan, a native of Fallbrook, California, got her diploma and head start to her soccer career.

She plays as a defender and stands at 5 feet 10 inches, was selected for the All-League team for 2018-2020 and was instrumental in guiding her side to the CIF title in 2020.

His sister was recognized as a student on the Dean’s list at ENMU in 2021 after being named to the ENMU honor roll in 2020. She was a member of the ECNL club team known as the Del Mar Sharks.

Dean Janikowski founded “Heather Janikowski Foundation” In Honor Of His Beloved Mother

Dean Janikowski and his family formed a foundation named after his late mother, the “Heather Janikowski Foundation.”

After beating cancer twice, his mother, Heather, did not have much fight left in her when she was diagnosed with cancer for the third time. It had already spread in most of her inner organs, lungs, and brain by then. 

Fighter Heather lost the battle with cancer in January 2012, and she passed away after many ups and downs. After her demise, Dean and his family decided to launch a foundation to raise funds for cancer treatment.

The non-profit charitable Organization, “The Heather Janikowski Foundation,” is dedicated to supporting programs that facilitate healthy lifestyles for children and their families. In addition, these programs should exemplify and foster partnerships that assist all children in reaching their full potential.

The WSU kicker aimed to raise $25,000 to help donate the funds to the treatment of kids battling with cancer. At the moment, the foundation has collected $12,201 through Pledge It.

Dean Janikowski is not related to former Polish football kicker Sebastian Janikowski. 

The two athletes have no ties with one another except for having similar last names. However, in 2018, the same question was put in front of the Dean by, and he replied, “To be honest, I have no idea.”

The question of whether or not he bears the family name of Sebastian Janikowski, the great kicker for the Oakland Raiders, is another one that has football fans scratching their heads.

Sebastian is originally from Poland, but his father moved to the US after his birth. But the connection that leads to his being related to the WSU sophomore is unclear. Thus, they are not connected.