Sidney John Watson

Sidney John Watson, Ashmead White Director of Athletics Emeritus at the College, died on April 25, 2004, at his home in Naples, Florida.

Born on May 4, 1932, in Andover, MA, he prepared for college at Punchard High School in Andover and at Worcester Academy and attended Northeastern University, from which he was graduated in 1956, after an outstanding career there in football and ice hockey. After playing in the National Football League with the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Washington Redskins from 1955 to 1958, he joined the staff at the College as an assistant coach in football and hockey. He became the head coach of hockey in 1959, a position he held until 1983, when he became director of athletics. During his 24 years as coach, he was named National Coach of the year three times, and his teams won the ECAC Division II championship four times. During his tenure as director of athletics from 1983 until 1998, the athletics program grew to 29 varsity sports, five club teams, and more than 20 physical education courses. He was elected to the Northeastern Athletic Hall of Fame, the Maine Sports Hall of Fame, and the United States Hockey Hall of Fame. He received the Hobey Baker Legend of Hockey Award. For six years, he served as chairman of the NCAA Ice Hockey Rules and Tournament Committee, and also held the positions of treasurer, secretary, president and vice president of the American Hockey Coaches Association. He was the 1984 recipient of Bowdoin’s Alumni Award for Faculty and Staff, and in 1998 he was elected an honorary member of Bowdoin’s Alumni Association. The fitness center at the Sargent Gymnasium was named the Sidney J. Watson Fitness Center in his honor. He is survived by his wife, Henrietta Halloran Watson, whom he married in 1954; two daughters, Nancy Jordan of Falmouth and Susan Poor of Orinda, CA; three sons, S. John Watson, Jr. of Portland, Michael Watson of Sherborn, MA, and Christopher Watson ’88 of Princeton, NJ; a brother, Joseph Watson of Naples and Andover, MA; and 11 grandchildren.