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Dave Cloutier, 78, first Maine native to play for Patriots

By the Associated Press  

FOXBOROUGH— Former Boston Patriots defensive back Dave Cloutier, the first Maine native to play for the team, has died.

Mr. Cloutier, 78, died Nov. 6 at his home in Palm Coast, Fla., according to the team.

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Mr. Cloutier was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the 18th round of the 1962 NFL draft, but instead he signed a free agent deal with the AFL’s Buffalo Bills.

He was out of football for a year in 1963 and coached at Kennebunk High School. He returned in 1964, signing with the Patriots. He appeared in 12 games as a defensive back and punt returner.

Mr. Cloutier starred as a running back at the University of Maine from 1959-61. He’s a member of the University of Maine Hall of Fame and Maine Sports Hall of Fame.

“He was one of the best players ever to play here,’’ Walter Abbott, the former Maine head football coach, told the Portland Press Herald. Abbott was an assistant coach when Mr. Cloutier played for the Black Bears. “He was an amazing individual. Speed, size, and strength for those days and toughness. . . . He had them all.”