January 16, 2006
To Members of the Bowdoin Community,
I am deeply saddened to inform you of the death of Phil Soule, a dedicated and beloved member of our community — especially to generations of Bowdoin students who knew and loved him as a coach, mentor, and friend. Phil died early Sunday morning as the result of an accidental fall while he was visiting a friend in Vermont.
Phil, who was 64 years old at the time of his death, was a dominant presence at the College for nearly 40 years. A graduate of the University of Maine, Phil had a distinguished football career in Orono that included two All-Maine selections as an offensive lineman. As a high school athlete, Phil set the Maine state record in the shot put at a meet held at Whittier Field.
After teaching English and coaching a variety of sports at Fryeburg Academy, Phil joined the Bowdoin coaching staff in 1967. In addition to coaching the Bowdoin football offensive line for decades, Phil also had coaching stints in many other sport at the College, including head coaching positions in wrestling, baseball, and squash. He has also served as an assistant in track and lacrosse, among other sports.
In 2004 Phil was inducted into the Bowdoin College Athletic Hall of Honor along with his father William '36 and three brothers; Paul '66, Morton '68, and James '77, all distinguished athletes at the College. During the ceremony, the Soule family announced the establishment of the Phillip Hilton Soule Award, recognizing the Bowdoin College football player whose contributions extend to multiple sports teams.
A national champion canoe racer and ultra-marathoner, Phil lived in Brunswick with his wife, Maureen. The couple, who seemingly attended nearly ever Bowdoin home athletic contest, have four children and ten grandchildren.
A wake will be held from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., and from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., on Wednesday, January 18, at Brackett Funeral Home, in Brunswick. A reception on the Bowdoin campus will follow on Wednesday evening, with details to be available during the wake. Funeral services are scheduled for 11:00 a.m. Thursday, January 19, at St. Charles Borromeo Church in Brunswick. Details about memorial contributions will be available at a later date.
Phil's untimely death is a terrible loss for his family, friends, and for Bowdoin College. We will miss him a great deal. We are grateful for Phil's service to and active involvement in the life of our college, and we extend heartfelt condolences to Mo and to the entire Soule family.