WATERVILLE — Jared Beers didn’t plan to run for the Colby College track and field team, but a few weeks before he was to report for preseason football workouts in 1997 as a first-year student, Beers, a Kittery native, took a call from Jim Wescott.

“I doubt it was on purpose, but he a little bit, sort of insulted me. I told my times, and he said, ‘Those are OK times,’ and in my mind I’m like, ‘Those are great,’ ” said Beers, now the men’s cross country and track and field coach at Colby. “He definitely challenged me. It was a very effective strategy.”

On Wednesday, members of Colby’s athletic staff remembered Wescott, who coached cross country and track and field at the school from 1978 to 2003.

Wescott, 71, of Belfast, died Tuesday on Megunticook Lake in Camden. He was sculling with a friend Tuesday morning when, authorities believe, he suffered a medical emergency and fell in the water. His body was recovered Tuesday night.

Wescott was the father of Seth Wescott of Carrabassett Valley, who won the Olympic gold medal in snowboardcross in 2006 and 2010.

Those who knew and worked with Jim Wescott at Colby remembered him as a kind man who fit in perfectly on the small campus.

“He had good life perspective, said Marcele Zalot, Colby’s athletic director. “He was such a warm, genuine and easy person to connect with.”