The first Maine native to play for the New England Patriots, Dave Cloutier, has died at the age of 78.

Cloutier played for Gardiner High School and went on to play for the UMaine Black Bears, leading the team in scoring in 1959 and 1961.

He played for the (then) Boston Patriots in 1964 and played in 12 of the Patriots 14 games that season as a defensive back and punt returner.

Cloutier died at his home in Florida.

Here's a statement released by the team...

Tuesday, November 28, 2017 12:21 PM EST
By New England Patriots

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Patriots are deeply saddened to learn of the loss of former Patriots defensive back Dave Cloutier, the first Maine native in Patriots history. Cloutier passed away at his home in Palm Coast, Florida on Nov. 6 at the age of 78.

Born November 22, 1938, Cloutier was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the 18th round (242nd overall) of the 1962 NFL draft, but chose to instead sign as a free agent with the Buffalo Bills of the American Football League. Following an injury, he was released by Buffalo and spent a year away from professional football to return to Maine, where he coached at Kennebunk High School.

In 1964, Cloutier signed as a free agent with the Boston Patriots where he appeared in 12 of the team’s 14 games that season as a defensive back and punt returner. Cloutier led the team with 20 punt returns for 136 yards, averaging 6.8 yards per return, and returned one kickoff for 46 yards.

Prior to playing professionally, Cloutier starred at the University of Maine as a running back from 1959 through 1961, where he led the Black Bears in scoring in both 1959 and 1961. He also finished first on the team in rushing in 1959 and tied Maine’s single-game record at the time of 159 rushing yards versus Bates College that year. While at Maine, Cloutier was an All-Yankee Conference and All-Maine running back, earning the team’s Harold Westerman Most Valuable Player Award in 1961, and has since been inducted into both the University of Maine Hall of Fame and the Maine Sports Hall of Fame.

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