Coach at Portland High School and Portland Boys' Club in 43- and 45-year runs through 1975, Paulson guided, drove, and inspired his charges to state and New England domination.
His Bulldogs and Keystoners (mostly identical) often compared well with the nation's best.
Portland High's 1950 and 1953 teams staked valid claim as national schoolboy champions on a comparison of times. Four PBC teams won national titles in competition. National records were commonplace. Paulson's PHS teams won a record 26 state championships - with 13 straight through 1958 - in a league he, Portland's official mentor George Casey, and Bowdoin coach Bob Miller, launched in 1933.
The Bulldogs also won five New England titles - a run of four through 1951, plus the 1968 conquest in which Paulson's son Rodney won the medley and butterfly.
His All-American pupils, dating from diver Santo D'Ascanio in 1935, embraced Mel Hutchinson, Roland Gorman, Gil and Herb Wishart, Coley and Warren Knowles, Richard Lucas, Arnold Rosario, Gordon Sellick, Arnold Green, Richard Horr, Donald Spicer, and diver Robert Savoy.
Paulson's Boys' Club teams won nine New England titles.
Two-generation pupils included the Lucases, Dick, Sr. and Jr.
Long before girls teams swimming bloomed, Paulson groomed Rachel Knowles and Pat Scott to national rank and later started Rosanne Marcus en route to Deering and Yale stardom.
For his preeminent contributions, the National AAU awarded its 44-year committee member lifetime membership in 1977 (first to a Maine man), while he received the Boys' Clubs of America professional service award in 1971 and was 1967 Maine high school Swim Coach of The Year in a lengthy honors list.
Legendary Yale coach Bob Kiphuth called Paulson "one of the best in the business" at a testimonial dinner here in 1956. Kiphuth assistant Phil Moriarty termed Paulson's 1950 PHS team "the best high school team in the nation based on comparative times and better than 90% of the nation's college teams."
He's been golfing for 60 years, rain or sine, and long chaired Riverside Golf Association Caddie Scholarship committees. He was instrumental in formation of the Portland Boys' Club Caddie School Program.
He has two sons, Barry and Rodney, and a daughter, Carol Gile.
Maine Sports Hall of Fame
P.O. Box 2
Cumberland, ME 04021
Phone (207) 807-7666
The Maine Sports Hall of Fame was established in 1972 for the purpose of: 1) appointing and bestowing recognition awards and scholarships to outstanding Maine high school scholar-athletes; and, 2) to formally honor and memorialize Maine athletes and sports figures who have brought distinction and honor to the state of Maine.