Paul Soule made a name for himself decades ago as a standout athlete at Deering High School and Bowdoin College.

He later became a teacher and successful coach in Massachusetts before moving back to Maine and co-owning a window replacement business with one of his brothers. He and his late wife, Gail, raised two children and lived for many years in Cumberland.

Paul Soule, photographed in 1996, the year he was inducted into the Maine Sports Hall of Fame. Gordon Chibroski / Portland Press Herald

Soule, a member of the Maine Sports Hall of Fame and resident of North Yarmouth, died Monday when the car he was driving on Route 1 in Cumberland crossed into the opposite lane of traffic and struck a dump truck, Cumberland police said.

It’s unclear what caused the crash. It remained under investigation Tuesday and police said no further information was available.

The driver of the dump truck, Trevor Lamoreau, was taken to Maine Medical Center with minor injuries, police said. Soule was pronounced dead at the scene. Neither driver had a record of significant driving infractions and no charges are anticipated, police said Tuesday.

“He was an outstanding biology teacher as well as a very accomplished track coach,” his brother Mort Soule said Tuesday. “Of the four of us (the four Soule brothers), Paul was the best athlete. We hated to admit it, but it was clear.”

A star athlete at both Deering High School and Bowdoin College, Soule, 78, was a member of a family with deep roots in Maine sports and deep ties to Bowdoin College.

Soule was a gifted athlete throughout his life, a path he started on during his high school years in Deering where he helped bring home the school’s first football state championship in 1959, beating Portland 26-21 on Thanksgiving Day in a come-from-behind win.

Paul Soule lets out a yell as he hurls the discus at a Corporate Track Meet at Falmouth High School on May 31, 1996. Soule earned All-American honors in track at Deering High School. Press Herald photo by Gordon Chibroski

Soule was also a bonafide track star in high school, winning All-American honors in track, as well as in football. In the 1961 Class A State meet, Soule beat the school-record for the 180-yard low hurdle with a time of 19.1 seconds. The record was never broken and eventually the event was replaced.

Soule followed his accolades in high school with a dominant college-career at Bowdoin, becoming an all-time great in the history of the football team, as well as a record-setter for the track team.

A member of the Bowdoin College Hall of Honor, Soule helped lead the football team to several winning seasons, including as a part of the 1963 State Series Championship football team. A halfback, Soule rushed for 414 yards as a sophomore before breaking an 18-year-old single-season rushing record of 670 yards his junior year. While co-captain his senior year, Soule surpassed the school’s career rushing record, finishing his time at the college with 1,681 yards.

Upon graduating, Soule signed with the Dallas Cowboys, making it past the initial round of cuts at training camp. However, Soule left partway through to report to a National Guard camp back in Maine, putting an end to his professional football career.

Shortly after, Soule took a position as a biology teacher and track coach at Reading High School in Massachusetts, where he led the track team to a dominant 246-21-2 record.

Soule left Maine in 1966 and returned after more than two decades, moving to Cumberland with his family.

Soule and his brother Jim co-owned A-B.E.S.T Window, a window replacement business with locations around southern Maine. According to his brother Mort, Paul Soule was a skilled carpenter and was in the process of building a house in North Yarmouth. Soule also continued to compete in track competitions as an adult.

A page on the Bowdoin Athletics website is dedicated to the history of the Soule name at Bowdoin, stating, “no single family has had a greater impact on Bowdoin’s athletic program than the Soule family.”

Tim Ryan, the director of athletics at Bowdoin, expressed his condolences for the entire Soule family.

“Paul excelled in track and was a record-setting member of our football team during his time at Bowdoin, leading the College’s athletic programs to considerable success,” said Ryan in a written statement. “The Soules have long been part of the fabric of the Bowdoin community and we at the College extend our deepest sympathies to the entire family.”

Related Headlines

Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: