JB Wells and his college buddies are about to take their own version of the Polar Bear plunge.

The new football coach at Bowdoin College said after Thursday’s annual National Football Foundation kickoff luncheon in Portland that he’s already lining up support from some fellow Trinity College alumni.

Bowdoin plays Oct. 24 at Trinity, a perennial New England Small College Athletic Conference power.

“My really close friends from college, as much as they bleed blue and gold for Trinity, they’re starting to come around to being Polar Bears,” Wells said. “I think your really close friends are loyal to you more than anything, so I’ve got a couple of guys that, when I took the job, said, ‘Get me a Bowdoin sweatshirt; I’ll be on the Bowdoin sideline in Hartford.'”

Wells, 45, was hired at Bowdoin in January after building a football program at Endicott College in Beverly, Massachusetts, and going 75-48 in 13 seasons there. He replaces Dave Caputi, who went 35-85 in 15 years at Bowdoin, including just six wins in the past three seasons.

Wells hasn’t been able to work with his new players on the field yet but said he had weekly team meetings throughout the spring to try to develop a new culture. He retained four coaches from Caputi’s staff, but brought defensive coordinator Shem Bloom and offensive coordinator Tom Blumenauer from Endicott.

“I think it was a pretty good marriage in that the guys who were there helped us understand what was going on at Bowdoin and the guys at Endicott helped the guys from Bowdoin understand how I was going to want to do things. So that was huge,” Wells said.

Most of the 2015 recruiting class was in place, but Wells and his staff tacked on a few high school players and even one transfer from Boston College, 312-pound lineman Tevin Montgomery, who should make an immediate impact for a team coming off a 2-6 season.

At Endicott, Wells evolved from running a rugged I-formation that emphasized controlling the clock to an up-tempo offense that spread the field and forced defenses to try to keep pace. He said at Bowdoin he’ll be prepared to go to either extreme but needs to see what he has first. That process will begin with the opening of practice on Aug. 30.

The first game is Sept. 26 against Williams.

Wells said he will draw on his experience at Endicott, where he was tapped to start a team from scratch at age 31. It also will help that he’s familiar with the NESCAC, having played at Trinity (graduating in 1991), and serving as an assistant coach at Bates in 1994-95 and back at Trinity in 1998. He also has had stints at the University of Chicago and Brown.

“I always saw myself back in the league just because that was my pedigree. Being at Bowdoin is kind of like being back at home. I’m comfortable within the league,” Wells said. “I’m comfortable with the types of student-athletes that you’re going to be able to recruit. I’m comfortable with the challenges that brings, of having to find somebody that’s not only a good football player but is going to meet the standards of the college.

“I’m trying to get us to a consistent place of success. I think they’ve had those spikes where there’s been a successful year and then it kind of goes away.”

Wells will move into a new house in Brunswick on Aug. 17, bringing a wife and three school-age children he said are “fired up” to live in Maine, where they’ve visited frequently.

“There’s very few opportunities that we were ever going to have to move and very few opportunities that we were going to have to change jobs because I had a really good thing going at Endicott. But this was too much of a unique opportunity and I wanted to make sure that we took advantage of it,” he said.

“Being able to get back to Maine is awesome.”

Mark Emmert can be contacted at 791-6424 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: MarkEmmertPPH

Mark Emmert can be contacted at 791-6424 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: MarkEmmertPPH