Winslow football co-coach Pete Bolduc gives instruction to linebackers during practice in August at Winslow High School. Bolduc died Tuesday after experiencing what school officials called a “medical event” at the high school. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel file photo

WINSLOW — Every morning before classes Pete Bolduc would stand outside Winslow High School and greet students as they walked in the door.

On Wednesday, a day after Bolduc’s sudden death, Principal Chad Bell and a host of other faculty members took his place at the entrance.

“I turned around and there was a big horseshoe formed around me,” Bell said, tearing up as he recalled colleagues who joined him to honor Bolduc.

He noted the fortitude of the staff and students in coping with the death of Bolduc, a 49-year-old teacher and football coach. Students were even checking on teachers to offer support, Bell said.

Bolduc was a gregarious man and a “big, positive presence” who liked to have fun, Bell said. He was always happy and loud, “in a good way,” he said.

“We lost a fantastic human being, on top of a great friend and mentor,” he said.

Bolduc, a physical education teacher and co-coach of Winslow High’s football team, experienced a “medical event” while at school Tuesday and the school was informed later in the day of his death, according to a letter distributed by Superintendent Peter Thiboutot. Counselors were on hand Wednesday to assist students and staff.

School officials declined to elaborate on the medical crisis that occurred Tuesday.

Bolduc committed significant time to helping others in the community, Bell said. He would organize students to participate in the “polar plunge” for Special Olympics, recruit students to build a patio for someone in need or help an ill faculty member with yard work.

Bolduc came to Winslow High in 2006 from Messalonskee High School and joined the football coaching staff in 2010. He was named interim co-coach, along with Wes Littlefield, last year. Both were installed as permanent head coaches this fall.

Winslow Athletic Director Jim Bourgoin described him as a natural leader in the community and a “great person, teacher, coach, father and husband.”

“Pete was always there when someone needed help,” Bourgoin said.

Bolduc was married and had two sons, both of whom went through the Winslow school system and played football for their father, according to Bell.

Bolduc believed in “coaching human beings,” Bell said, explaining that Bolduc and other faculty members like him taught students how to become well-rounded, caring and considerate people.

Bell said on Wednesday he came across a junior high student who was looking dejected. The student told him how Bolduc helped him through a tough time a few months ago after his father died. The student didn’t know who to turn to now that Bolduc is gone. Bell told the student he would find a counselor to help him cope with this most recent loss.

Bolduc’s positivity made an impression on students.

“Every kid would have a story,” Bell said.

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