Janiak was one of many Crusader
athletes of the early 1930s to be coached by two legends.
Under the tutelage of Dr. Eddie Anderson, he was a halfback on the
football team noted for his speed. During his three-year
career, the Crusaders finished with an overall record of 24-4-1,
including the 9-0-1 campaign in 1935. That season, he scored
the only touchdown and made a key tackle near the goal line to lead
Holy Cross to a 7-0 win over nationally-ranked Carnegie Tech,
preserving the undefeated record. Janiak also used his speed
on the track team under coach Bart Sullivan and was a former
sprinter on the Polish national team.
After Holy Cross, Janiak returned to his native New Bedford, where he entered a career in education. He was director of the New Bedford Regional Vocational High School, where the fieldhouse is named after him. The school also hosts the annual Walter Janiak Track Meet. He passed away in 2005.