Mortimer F. and Sally S. LaPointe

Mortimer F. and Sally S. LaPointe

Legends in their respective coaching communities, Mort and Sally LaPointe were the heart and soul of the Bowdoin Athletic Department for more than two decades, coaching a combined sixty seasons and accounting for over 450 victories and eight conference championships.

Mort LaPointe made an immediate impact on the early years of the men’s lacrosse program at Bowdoin, taking the helm of a team that had been led by five different coaches in the previous five seasons. He quickly provided the team much-needed stability and guided the program to national prominence. In only his fourth season as head coach, LaPointe was awarded the Neville B. Smith Award as New England’s Intercollegiate Lacrosse Coach of the Year, beginning a staggering string of success that would see Bowdoin become an ECAC powerhouse.

LaPointe led the squad for twenty-one seasons, from 1970 until 1990, retiring with a career record of 218 wins and only 76 losses (.741). LaPointe’s success as head coach was remarkably consistent. In the eighteen seasons from 1973 to 1990, the men’s lacrosse team qualified for the ECAC Championship Tournament sixteen times, and came home with five Championship titles (there surely would have been more, but on nine occasions the team was unable to participate in the tournament due to exams). LaPointe capped his legendary career with a flourish, capturing the 1990 ECAC Championship with an emotional 15-11 victory over Williams in his final game.

Showing his love not only for Bowdoin but for the game, LaPointe is well-known in the lacrosse community for his efforts to grow the sport. In 1974, he was elected to the NCAA Lacrosse Rules Committee, a post he held for three years before being named chair in 1977. He also served as the President of the New England Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association and, upon his retirement, received the U.S. Lacrosse Coaches Association’s Joseph R. Julien Service Award, recognizing outstanding and continued service to the sport. Before coming to Bowdoin, LaPointe attended Trinity College (CT) with the class of 1955. In 1965 he earned an M.A. in Liberal Studies from Wesleyan University. While at Wesleyan, LaPointe began coaching lacrosse at the Lenox School (MA) where he remained for eleven years, accumulating an impressive 83-24 mark.

The first-ever female coach at the newly co-educational Bowdoin, Sally LaPointe served as a mentor and coach for a generation of Bowdoin student-athletes. A pioneer in women’s sports at an institution that would eventually become one of the premier destinations for female student-athletes, she was a teacher, role model, and friend to countless women at a changing college.

LaPointe’s Bowdoin career began with the field hockey team in the fall of 1972. She led that program for a remarkable twenty years, accumulating 131 victories and winning the MAIAW (Maine Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women) Championship in 1976 and 1977 and finishing as a finalist in 1981, 1983, and 1984. Passionately devoted to her sport, LaPointe was a member of the NCAA Field Hockey Committee, and from 1981 to 1986 served as chair. In 1978 she was selected by the U.S. Field Hockey Association to serve as a coach at the National Team Development Camp.

In the spring of 1974, LaPointe founded Bowdoin’s women’s lacrosse program, and coached the squad for nineteen years. During her time at the helm, she compiled a 103-83-5 mark and won the NIAC (Northeast Independent Athletic Conference) Championship in 1986, guiding her team to a perfect 15-0 record. Additionally, LaPointe coached the women’s basketball team for the program’s inaugural season in 1974-75, and was the long-time women’s coach in the squash program with Ed Reid. All four of the programs that LaPointe helped establish have developed into nationally recognized contenders, and three (basketball, lacrosse, and field hockey) made NCAA Tournament appearances in 2005-06 and finished their respective seasons ranked in the top ten nationally. In a history-rich athletic program with such a great number of long-tenured and remarkably successful coaches, it is fair to say that no other individual has made their mark on so many programs in such a profound way as Sally LaPointe.

Before coming to Maine, LaPointe served as director of the girls’ athletic program at Berkshire Country Day School in Lenox, Massachusetts. She has been inducted into the Connecticut College Athletic Hall of Fame.

Mort and Sally LaPointe reside in Bowdoinham, Maine, and are still year-round fixtures at Bowdoin sporting events. Together the couple raised three children; they have seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild.