Buddy Teevens, innovative Dartmouth football coach, dies at 66

HANOVER, N.H. (AP) — Buddy Teevens, the innovative Ivy League football coach who brought robotic tackling dummies to practice at Dartmouth, died Tuesday of injuries sustained in a bicycle accident in March. He was 66.

School President Sian Leah Beilock and Athletic Director Mike Harrity announced Teevens’ death in a letter to the Dartmouth community.

“Our family is heartbroken to announce that our beloved ‘Trainer’ passed away peacefully surrounded by his family. Unfortunately, the injuries he sustained proved too severe even for him to overcome,” the Teevens family said in a statement to Dartmouth. “Throughout this journey we have always passed on the thoughts, memories and love that were sent his way. Your kindness and encouraging letters did not go unnoticed and were greatly appreciated by both Buddy and our family.”

Buddy Teevens died as a result of a bicycle accident in March.
Buddy Teevens died as a result of a bicycle accident in March.

Teeven’s right leg was amputated after the accident in Florida.

Teevens and his wife, Kirsten, were driving on a road in the St. Augustine area when he was struck by a pickup truck on March 16.

Kirsten Teevens said her husband also suffered a spinal cord injury in the accident. The couple had moved to Boston to continue their rehabilitation closer to their loved ones.

Longtime Buddy Teevens assistant Sammy McCorkle is leading the Dartmouth football team as interim coach this season. The Big Green opened the season last weekend with a loss to New Hampshire.

The school said McCorkle informed the team of Teevens’ death on Tuesday and that the Big Green planned to play its home opener against Lehigh on Saturday. There will be a minute’s silence before the game and a memorial service afterwards, the school said.

Teevens was a former star quarterback at Dartmouth who became the school’s all-time scoring leader with a 117-101-2 record in 23 seasons. He coached the Big Green from 1987 to 1991 and returned in 2005. His teams have won or shared five Ivy League championships. In 1978, he was named Ivy League Player of the Year and led Dartmouth to the league title.

Buddy Teevens brought robot dummies to practice at Dartmouth to make the sport safer.
Buddy Teevens brought robot dummies to practice at Dartmouth to make the sport safer.

He began his coaching career in Maine and served as head coach at Tulane and Stanford between his stints at Dartmouth. He was also an assistant at Illinois and Florida under Hall of Fame coach Steve Spurrier.

But his lasting legacy will be his efforts to make football safer.

He reduced full-contact training by focusing on technique, but still led winning teams.

He also headed the Development of the Mobile Virtual Player by the Dartmouth School of Engineeringa robotic tackling dummy that was also used by other college programs and NFL teams.

Teevens also tried to create more opportunities for women in college football by hiring Callie Brownson as an offensive quality control coach for the Big Green in 2018. She was believed to be the first full-time female Division I football coach.

“Buddy was a Dartmouth original,” Beilock and Harrity said in their letter. “He will be greatly missed and fondly remembered by so many members of the community whose lives he touched and changed for the better.”

Teevens is survived by his wife, daughter Lindsay and son Buddy Jr., and four grandchildren.

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