James Lentz, a longtime head coach of the Bowdoin College football team and first director of the school’s renowned Outing Club, died recently at age 82.
Lentz served as Bowdoin’s football coach from 1968 to 1983, the second-longest tenure of any football coach in school history. He accumulated the second-most victories in program history, winning 55 games in 16 seasons while leading the Polar Bears to their greatest heights in the post-Maine State Series era.
In his first 10 years on the Whittier Field sideline, Bowdoin captured eight CBB championships, a stretch of success that has gone unmatched in the history of the storied rivalry. His 1970 team came within one point of being the only unbeaten football team in school history.
However, Lentz’s lasting legacy at the college likely was established off the playing field as he was the driving force behind the growth of the Bowdoin Outing Club.
In 1983, the year before he left coaching, Lentz presented the idea of an official club to school president Leroy Greason. An avid outdoorsman, Lentz was chosen the club’s first official director, a post he held until 1992. During his time as director, the Outing Club transitioned into the largest student organization on campus and introduced thousands of students to a love of the Maine outdoors.
Lentz is survived by his wife, Martha, son John B. Lentz, daughter Sarah Lentz, and two grandchildren. A memorial service will be held on Aug. 9, at 2 p.m. at Whittier Field.
Fowler to coach Thomas tennis
Jeff Fowler has been named the head coach of the Thomas College men’s and women’s tennis teams in Waterville.
Fowler is an U.S. Professional Tennis Association Level 2 teaching pro and played tennis at the University of Central Florida.
Fowler coached varsity tennis at Hall Dale High School in Farmingdale and also coached the varsity ice hockey team for Winthrop/Hall Dale.
“We feel fortunate to have someone of Jeff’s caliber join our coaching staff,” Thomas athletic director Deb Biche said. “Jeff has demonstrated throughout his career his passion for athletics and his ability to teach and develop all player ability levels. His is a great fit for out department and I’m looking forward to working with him and seeing the positive effects his leadership will have on both programs.”