BRUNSWICK (AP) – Sid Watson, who led the Bowdoin College hockey team to four ECAC Division II titles during 24 years as coach, died Sunday after a heart attack at his home in Naples, Fla. He was 71.

“There has not been a more beloved person in the Bowdoin College community than Sid Watson,” Bowdoin President Barry Mills said. “Sid was a man of great personal strength and character … we will miss him tremendously.”

From 1969 through 1983, Watson’s teams qualified for the Eastern College Athletic Conference playoffs every year but one and compiled a record of 326-210-11. He was named national college division coach of year three times.

“He was tough as a coach,” said Dr. Sean Hanley, a Portland surgeon who played three seasons for Watson. “He was not always the easiest guy to get to know, but he was very fair and a good motivator.”

A Massachusetts native, Watson’s football records at Northeastern University for single-season points (74) and career points (191) still stand. A halfback, he averaged more than 7 yards a carry. After playing in the NFL for Washington and Pittsburgh, Watson accepted a temporary position as Bowdoin’s hockey coach in 1958.

“He molded us into a team,” said Mike Talbot, a Skowhegan attorney.

Bowdoin named its fitness center after Watson in 1996 and the United States Hockey Hall of Fame awarded him the Hobey Baker Legend of Hockey Award in 2001.

Watson, who continued to spend summers in Brunswick, was an inaugural inductee of Bowdoin’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2002.

Watson is survived by his wife, Henrietta; three sons, Michael, John and Christopher; daughters Nancy and Susan; and 11 grandchildren.

AP-ES-04-27-04 1028EDT

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