In the same week in which Bates College named its 20th football coach, the school is also mourning the death of one its longest-serving football coaches.

Webster “Web” Harrison died Sunday after suffering cardiac arrest at his home in Auburn, the school announced Wednesday. He was 78.

Harrison graduated from Bates in 1963 and went on to become the head coach of the school’s football, men’s lacrosse and women’s track and field teams.

Harrison was the football coach from 1978 to 1991. During those 14 seasons, the Bobcats compiled a record of 39-70-3 and won four Colby-Bates-Bowdoin titles. Bates finished .500 or better in four of his first five seasons, including 6-2 records in 1978 and 1981. Only two teams in school history have won more than six games.

“Great coach, better man,” longtime Bates football assistant Skip Capone wrote on Twitter on Wednesday.

“The game is better for having Web involved for so many years. Bates is a better place as well. Legacy will burn bright forever.”

Harrison was the Bobcats’ first lacrosse coach, starting the program in 1978 and continuing as coach through 1995. His teams went 124-113, and his 124 wins are still the most in school history.

Harrison also served as the women’s track coach from 1977-79.

Harrison was a native of Torrington, Connecticut. His grandfather, William E. Webster, was the mayor of Lewiston in the early 1900s.

Harrison played football at Bates for four years – “Small for a fullback – 5-foot-10, 170 pounds,” a sportswriter for the school newspaper wrote of Harrison, “but a vicious blocker.”

He also was a biology major, and a sportswriter for the school’s newspaper, The Bates Student.

During his junior, Harrison enlisted in the Marine Corps. He stayed in school to graduate, then in 1965 was deployed to Vietnam. He was discharged as a captain in 1967.

His experiences in the early days of the Vietnam War are referenced in Philip Caputo’s book, “A Rumor of War.”

Harrison’s time in the Marines had a significant impact on how he coached and how he lived the rest of his life.

Harrison’s experiences in the Marines also inspired him to start saying the phrase, “It’s a great day to be a Bobcat,” which is still used as a rallying cry in 2018.

Harrison is survived by his wife, Kathleen McEntee Harrison; his daughter, Kathryn Harrison, and her husband, Tim Smith; and by his granddaughter, Delia Smith.