Buddy Teevens ’79


Eugene F. “Buddy” Teevens ’79, the Robert L. Blackman Head Football Coach, died on September 19 at the age of 66 following injuries from a bicycle accident in March. The Dartmouth community is in mourning, and this page will be updated in the coming days as more remembrances and obituaries for Teevens are published.

September 29

The Dartmouth: Dear Coach Teevens

“I compiled stories and experiences from Dartmouth football players past and present to try to illustrate the impact that Coach Teevens had on all of his players. To describe an indescribable man with words is an impossible task, but I’m going to try my best. This is a letter to thank him for changing all of our lives,” writes Josh Greene ’23.

September 26

Valley News: Admirers reflect on Buddy Teevens’ influence on their lives through the decades

“The Valley News sought remembrances from a dozen people who knew Teevens well at various stages of his life. From being one of nine children growing up in southeast Massachusetts, to his playing and coaching days, the coach left deep impressions upon many he met.”

September 25

Peter King of NBC Sports: Buddy Teevens, 1956-2023

Scroll to the middle of King’s weekly column to read his thoughts on Teevens, including:  “You may wonder why an Ivy League football coach deserves your attention. It’s because he’s one of the most significant coaches in the recent history of the game.” King also published detailed, sentimental remembrances from Peyton Manning, Roger Goodell, and Callie Brownson, among others.

September 24

Dartmouth Community Gathers to Remember Buddy Teevens ’79 

“About 400 people attended a memorial gathering and lit candles Saturday evening to remember Buddy Teevens ’79, Dartmouth’s winningest football coach.” 

NFL GameDay Morning: Remembering the Life of Buddy Teevens

September 23

The New York Times: Buddy Teevens, Pioneering Dartmouth Football Coach, Dies at 66

September 21

The Ivy League announced that all home football games this weekend will begin with a moment of silence to honor Teevens. All football teams in the ancient eight have already been wearing decals with Teevens’ initials on their helmets this season, a gesture that was meant to show support for Teevens as he fought to recover from the March collision that ultimately took his life.

Princeton TigerBlog: To Buddy Teevens

Princeton’s sports blog dedicated to its Thursday column to Teevens, with a note from the author that though they’d never met, “TigerBlog always liked Teevens. .. maybe it's just as simple as the fact that Teevens' goodness was just [too] obvious to miss. So was his class. The news is hard to comprehend. TigerBlog sends his deepest condolences to Dartmouth and to the Teevens family. So does every other Ivy League fan.” 

Princeton football coach Bob Surace added his recollection of a close 2018 Princeton-Dartmouth game: 

Our Dartmouth game in 2018 was one of the more nationally publicized Ivy football games I can recall.  Afterwards I described it as a "Rocky" movie, and although the cliche one-play game can get overused, that game truly was a one-play game with the team that won thrilled and a heartbreaking loss for the loser. We won the game with a late TD run by John Lovett. The postgame was about 150 warriors showing respect for each other and then after we did media I was walking to the tailgate (about where the new soccer stadium is located).  Halfway there, I heard someone shouting my name and I turned around and it was Buddy Teevins running towards me.  We talked about the game, the brilliance of the players on both sides, how lucky we are to have tremendous assistant coaches. It was just a very respectful conversation. And then Buddy said, if I was going to lose that game, I'm glad it was to you. I thanked him. We shook hands and I went to the tailgate while he went back on the bus.  As I kept walking, I knew he really didn't mean that personally to me. We were colleagues and friends, but I truly believe he would have said that to any head coach he was friends with. He was such an incredible man that after a devastating "one-play" loss he wanted the opposing coach to enjoy the moment. 

September 20

WCAX: Remembering the Life and Legacy of Dartmouth Football Coach Buddy Teevens

This news video features interviews with several people in Hanover plus sports reporter Mike McCune ’92, who played for Teevens as an undergraduate before covering the Big Green as a journalist. “If you asked him a question, he would give you an honest, thoughtful answer. And as a professional, that is all you could ever ask of anybody,” said McCune.

The New Hampshire Union Leader: The Legacy of Buddy Teevens Will Live On

“Teevens guided the Dartmouth football program to 117 victories—the most of any Dartmouth head coach—and five Ivy League championships, but his legacy extends far beyond winning football games. Teevens ... introduced innovative methods to make football safer. He also helped create a pathway for women to coach in college football when he hired Callie Brownson to be Dartmouth's offensive quality control coach in 2018. She is believed to be the first full-time Division I female football coach.”

National Football Foundation: NFF Mourns the Passing of Dartmouth Coach Buddy Teevens

Dartmouth Sports: Buddy Teevens Tribute (by The Teevens Family)

Associated Press: Dartmouth football coach Buddy Teevens, an innovator and the school’s winningest coach, dies at 66

CBS News: Buddy Teevens, Dartmouth football coach, dies 6 months after being hit by pickup while cycling

September 19, 2023

Dartmouth Announces Death of Buddy Teevens ’79

“Our family is heartbroken to inform you that our beloved ‘coach’ has peacefully passed away surrounded by family. Unfortunately, the injuries he sustained proved too challenging for even him to overcome,” the Teevens family said in a statement. “Throughout this journey, we consistently relayed the thoughts, memories, and love sent his way. Your kindness and letters of encouragement did not go unnoticed and were greatly appreciated by both Buddy and our family.”

“We are confident and take comfort in the fact that he passed away knowing how much he was loved and admired.”

Letter from president Sian Leah Beilock and athletics director Mike Harrity

“This is tragic news for Dartmouth and the entire football world. Buddy not only was synonymous with Dartmouth football, he was a beloved coach and an innovative, inspirational leader who helped shape the lives of generations of students,” said Beilock and Harrity, adding: “With input from the Teevens family, we will plan to honor Buddy's legacy in many ways in the coming weeks and months.”

Older coverage of Teevens legacy:

The Athletic: An Ivy League football pioneer’s absence looms large, but ‘you can’t hold Buddy Teevens back’ 

“Last weekend down in the bayous of Thibodaux, La., the best college quarterbacks in the country convened at Nicholls State University to mentor more than 1,400 young quarterbacks and receivers at the Manning Passing Academy. The camp is an institution, a rite of passage for counselors and campers alike. But while Archie, Peyton, Eli and Cooper Manning are the faces of the camp, one of its driving forces has been a fearless, larger than life Dartmouth head coach from Pembroke, Mass., named Buddy Teevens. Each year, he selects the event’s 90 or so coaches, coordinates schedules and assigns the drills that keep this 27-year machine running. And the reality of having the MPA without him caused some panic.”

The Athletic also spoke to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell for this story. “Not many people have contributed more to the game than Buddy,” Goodell said. “It’s unique in that he’s had so many touch points into the future of the game as well as the past.”

Roger Goodell Addresses the Teevens Family During the NFL Draft on April 27, 2023

“His impact both on college football and the NFL has been enormous. He has been a leader in making our game safer through breakthrough innovations. He is a pioneer in hiring female coaches, two of whom are currently coaching in the NFL. I know Buddy and his wife, Kirsten, are watching the draft tonight, and we send our love and best wishes to both of them. Thank you, Coach. Thank you for all you do for the game of football. We look forward to seeing you back at Dartmouth.”

The Valley News: Teevens in Florida hospital after bike crash 

One of the first news stories following the March 2023 crash that put Teevens in the hospital highlighted his active lifestyle and relationship with his family. 

“Teevens is known for his fitness and in 2007 biked across the country from San Diego to New England, accompanied for part of the way by friend and former teammate David Shula. Now Dartmouth’s receivers coach, Shula was previously head coach of the NFL’s Cincinnati Bengals.”

“Asked in 2010 when her husband might retire, Kirsten Teevens found humor in the question. ‘It doesn’t really cross my mind because he’s always up and swimming or biking for three hours and then later he might go for a run... He’s not going to slow down.’”

Dartmouth Alumni Magazine: A coach on helping athletes be great people

DAM interviewed Teevens for the back page of the magazine’s September-October 2022 issue. “I like being the spoon, stirring things up,” he told us. “As one of nine kids, I am inclined to interact with everybody.”

The New York Times: The Ivy League Becomes the Future of Football

“In this northern outpost of the Ancient Eight, a program soaked in football’s past is trying to drag the sport into the future. In 2010, the Big Green eliminated tackling in all practices—even preseason camp and spring ball. Coach Buddy Teevens likes to say that a freshman will play four years without being tackled by another Dartmouth player. The N.C.A.A. has since recommended dialing back contact significantly in practice. ... Teevens, 62, casts his unusual policies as enlightened self-interest. Practices with less contact mean fewer injuries and fresher players. Never tackling teammates means more, and more precise, work on tackling technique. He estimates that Dartmouth has cut its missed tackles by two-thirds.”

“Will it save the game of football?’ Teevens said. ‘I don’t know. But I think it’s a step in the right direction.’”

Dartmouth Alumni Magazine: Buddy Teevens ’79 Transformed Football Forever

Around the same time the NYT came to Hanover to look at how Teevens was shaping the future of football, DAM writer Brad Parks ’96 was working on this expansive profile. The story traces Teevens’ early concerns about head injuries to his successful turnaround of the Big Green football program.

Stephen Colbert Interviews Teevens About the MVP Robot

“Why not tackle each other? That's what football is!” said Colbert. “Concussive head injuries,” replied Teevens, before letting Colbert tackle a Mobile Virtual Player robot instead. Elliot Kastner ’13, Th’14 ’15, who helped develop the MVP, stood by.

Dartmouth Sports: Buddy on a Bike

“Whether it's pushing the building of a new varsity house from dream to reality in record time, planning a snowshoe outing for wide-eyed recruits from the deep south or promoting the idea that his players sit in the front row of their classes, the wheels are always turning for Dartmouth football coach Buddy Teevens. They'll really be turning early next month when Teevens hops on his Serotta bicycle in San Diego and begins pedaling back to New Hampshire. Fit and trim at age 50, Teevens plans to cover more than 3,600 miles on his own two wheels, and he plans to do it in less than one month's time.”


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