Before Bowdoin, Watson played four NFL seasons

— -- BRUNSWICK, Maine -- Sid Watson, an NFL player in the 1950s who went on to lead the Bowdoin hockey team to four ECAC Division II titles during 24 years as coach, died at 71. He died Sunday after a heart attack at his home in Naples, Fla. "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." Between 1969 and 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." Watson played four seasons in the NFL as a halfback. He broke in with Pittsburgh in 1955 and spent three seasons there before finishing with Washington. After the NFL, Watson accepted a temporary position as Bowdoin's hockey coach in 1958. His football records at Northeastern for single-season points (74) and career points (191) still stand. Bowdoin named its fitness center after Watson in 1996, and the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame awarded him the Hobey Baker Legend of Hockey Award in 2001. Watson is survived by his wife, Henrietta; three sons, Michael, John and Christopher; daughters Nancy and Susan; and 11 grandchildren.