The Bowdoin community learned of the passing of Phil Soule, a well-known presence in the athletic department, over winter break in a statement issued by President Barry Mills.

Soule, after an exceptional athletic career in high school and at the University of Maine, joined the Bowdoin coaching staff in 1967 as an offensive line coach.

He served the football team admirably for 39 years, and coached both offensive linemen and the defensive line during his tenure. Throughout his career, Soule also served as the head coach for the wrestling, baseball, and squash teams, and was assistant lacrosse coach.

Soule will be remembered for his devotion to Bowdoin sports, his love of the Maine outdoors, and the wisdom and advice he bestowed upon countless players, students and coaches who were fortunate enough to work with him.

"He embraced everything about Bowdoin, and everything about Maine," remembers Head Football Coach Dave Caputi. "He was a great man, and he will be missed tremendously."

Bowdoin athletes, who had the privilege of working with Soule, recalled his selflessness and no-nonsense approach on and off the gridiron.

Mike Stratton '06, a defensive lineman, worked with Soule for all four years of his Bowdoin career.

"Coach Soule brought out the best in people. He was always willing to work with players one-on-one. He would take us aside and patiently teach us the right way to do things. He always believed in doing things the right way," Stratton recalled.

Stratton also remembered Soule's concern for those he worked with.

"Coach Soule cared a great deal about his players, and looked out for our wellbeing," he said.

Linebacker Shaun Kezer '06 remarked, "With him, it was fun. He was an old-school coach, and he used to get everyone on the team fired up, even on practice days." Kezer particularly remembered Soule's inspirational sayings like "You've got to have the blood dripping from your heart!"

Though Mills never played for Soule on a sports team, he did have Soule as a physical education teacher (when a physical fitness class was mandatory for Bowdoin students). The first day Soule met Mills in gym class, he guaranteed Mills that he would have an 18-inch neck by graduation.

Off the athletic fields, Soule lived with equal passion. With Maine as his backyard, Soule hunted, fished, dug for clams, and set lobster traps. Soule was also a national champion canoe racer and ultra marathon runner.

Caputi recalled that Soule used to joke, "Why eat a turkey when you can shoot a Canadian goose?"

Zach Hammond '07 got the opportunity to go hunting with Soule last fall.

"Phil was an extraordinary person and I am honored to have known him," Hammond said. "Phil has played the invaluable role of being my coach, both in sport and in life."

Even in his 60s, a time when many men resign themselves to rounds of golf or games of gin rummy, Soule remained active.

"Phil loved working out," remembers Defensive Coordinator Tom Radulski, who worked with Phil for six years. "Everyday in the gym around noon time, Phil would come in and run on the treadmill or lift weights."

Soule is survived by his wife Mo, his four children, and 10 grandchildren. Over 600 people gathered at St. Charles Borromeo Church in Brunswick on January 19 to commemorate his life and legacy.