J.B. Wells will not return as head coach of the football team, the College announced in a November 15 press release. Wells, who led the Polar Bears to a 1-8 record in his fourth season as head coach, will finish his career with an overall record of 3-31, having led the team through the longest losing streak in program history of 24 games between November of 2015 and November of 2018.
All animals are sad after intercourse, the old saying goes. And following their climactic victory over Bates, one got the sense that the Polar Bears were, too. The day after victory is a sadly neglected moment in history: what did David do the day after bringing down Goliath?
This is the story of the best football game in Bowdoin history. November 9, 1963: For nearly 70 years, the Polar Bears had faced off against their archrival, the University of Maine Black Bears, in the culminating game of the season.
On the door to Coach J.B. Wells’ office is a poster emblazoned with the likeness of quarterback phenom Peyton Manning and the following quotation: “I wouldn’t have a single touchdown without someone to catch it, and someone to block for it, and someone to create the play, and someone to call it, and someone to celebrate it with.” Still mired in a 23-game losing streak, the longest in the program’s history, the Polar Bears have learned the truth of Manning’s wisdom in a literal way.
From the Hubbard Grandstand, the wooden frame of what will become Bowdoin football’s new locker room and training facility is just visible over the visiting team stands. It has no roof, no walls, no siding. Just a wooden frame.
I’ve been accumulating a list of pithy yet uplifting one-liners to open the story about Bowdoin football’s first victory in three years. “Gameday in Brunswick began with the campus enshrouded in a thick, gloomy mist. By game time, the fog had burned off to reveal a breathtaking September day.” Just imagine the possibilities.
When I arrived at Whittier Field 15 minutes before the start of practice, the place was vacant—or so I thought. While I was sitting in the Hubbard Grandstand, enjoying the fruits of the $8 million dollar renovation, a voice called up to me from the field.
August, says Head Football Coach J.B. Wells, is a great time to be a football coach—anywhere. “Has any team in America had a bad offseason? No. At this point in the season, every team in America is undefeated,” said Wells.
The Bowdoin football team (0-9) lost its final game of the season last Saturday against Colby (1-8) at home by a score of 31-20. The loss marks the program’s first pair of consecutive winless seasons. The Polar Bears led 17-10 at halftime and extended their lead to 20-10 partway through the third quarter, but Colby responded with 21 unanswered points.