To honor a legendary coach who had an exceptional impact on the campus community, Colby College announced that it will name the football team’s top coaching position the Dick McGee Head Coach for Colby Football. A $2-million endowment was raised by a large group of former players to create the seventh permanently endowed position for Colby athletics and the college’s fourth head coaching position to be endowed through the efforts of Colby alumni, parents, and friends.
As Colby’s head football coach for over 10 years (1967-1978), McGee led a series of successful seasons. His 1972 team’s 7-1 record remains tied with 1994, 2000, and 2005 team records for the most wins in a season in Colby football history. He was also Colby’s athletic director from 1974 to 1987 and, after stepping down as head coach, served as an assistant coach and professor of physical education until his retirement in 1998. McGee passed away at age 84 in 2015.
Under the leadership of Jackson Parker ’76, Hank Newman ’77, and Alex Wilson ’73, a committee of 10 former players secured contributions from more than 60 alumni ranging from the Class of 1953 to the Class of 2009, as well as from several local community members.
“Dick McGee made a real difference in our community, and his impact on generations of Colby students was profound,” said Colby President David A. Greene P’20. “The support by alumni to make this gift happen was extraordinary, and a true testament to the deep feelings that the Colby community has for Dick. There are gifts of obligation and gifts of responsibility, but this was truly a gift of love.”
McGee earned a number of the college’s highest honors including Colby C Club Man of the Year in 1992 and the Carl E. Nelson Sports Achievement Award in 2007. In 2011 he was inducted into the Maine Sports Hall of Fame. He was also a founder of the Fairfield P.A.L. football league, serving as its director for 54 years, and the Richard McGee Athletic Fields in Fairfield are named in his honor.
“Dick was admired and respected by his players as well as professional peers because every day he brought to the field the high ideals and focus on excellence that is at the core of Colby,” said Parker, chairman and CEO of Reed & Reed, one of northern New England’s top heavy civil contractors. “He also gave back to his local community in countless ways, and in our view, there was no question about honoring him with a permanently endowed position at Colby.”
At the recent Colby-Bates game it was announced that Colby’s current coach, Jack Cosgrove, would be the inaugural Dick McGee Head Coach for Colby Football. After the game over 100 alumni and friends gathered to remember Coach McGee including Stump Merrill, former manager of the New York Yankees, who was hired by McGee as an assistant coach for the Mules from 1967 to 1969.
“We’re thrilled to have this endowment, and to be the leader in the New England Small College Athletic Conference [NESCAC] for permanent support of athletics positions,” said Mike Wisecup, who was recently named vice president and Harold Alfond Director of Athletics at Colby College. “These important gifts continue to help support our talented team of coaches and staff and they play a key role in building a highly competitive program.”
Wisecup noted that this is an exciting time for Colby athletics overall, in part because of the college’s all-new athletic complex, which is slated to open in 2020 and will be among the best Division III facilities in the nation. Serving as a resource for the entire campus, Waterville, Maine, and New England, the new complex will include the state’s only Olympic-sized pool, an indoor competition center with a 200-meter track, and a multilevel, 13,500-square-foot fitness area.
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