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The Dartmouth
May 20, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Buddy Teevens ’79 dies

Teevens will be remembered for his contributions to the Dartmouth community and football at large.

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Courtesy of Gil Talbot, Dartmouth Athletics

Buddy Teevens ’79, who served as Dartmouth football’s head coach for over 22 years, died on Tuesday, according to an email sent to the Dartmouth community by College President Sian Leah Beilock and athletics director Mike Harrity. He was 66 years old. 

Teevens’s death comes after he sustained severe injuries from a bicycle accident in March.

The Teevens family, which had provided updates on Coach Teevens’s recovery throughout the last several months, again released a statement today.

“Our family is heartbroken to inform you that our beloved ‘coach’ has peacefully passed away surrounded by family,” the statement read. “Unfortunately, the injuries he sustained proved too challenging for even him to overcome. 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.”

In the email sent to campus, Beilock and Harrity wrote that Teevens’s death “is tragic news for Dartmouth and the entire football world,” adding that he was a “beloved” coach who shaped the lives of multiple generations of students.   

After football practice Tuesday evening, Harrity and interim head coach Sammy McCorkle gathered the team together to tell them the news and share support and resources. Teevens sustained injuries in March when he was struck by a pickup truck while riding a bike home from a restaurant in St. Augustine, Florida. In written updates, Teevens’s wife, Kirsten, had explained that Buddy suffered spinal cord injuries and that his right leg was amputated. This summer, Buddy Teevens and Kirsten Teevens moved to Boston to continue his rehab and to be closer to family and friends, she wrote.

As a student at Dartmouth, Teevens lettered in hockey and football, earning Ivy League Player of the Year as quarterback in 1978, when he led the Big Green to the Ivy League title. He was voted the Alfred W. Watson Trophy as Dartmouth’s outstanding athlete.

In 1987, Teevens returned to his alma mater and became the winningest coach in Dartmouth football history. He served as a head coach for over 30 years — his first two at the University of Maine, then Dartmouth from 1987-1991 before stints at Tulane University and Stanford University, and then back to Dartmouth ever since 2005. He led the Big Green to a share of the Ivy League title in 1990, 1991, 2015, 2019 and 2021.

Teevens’s final record as Dartmouth head coach was 117-101-2, including 83-70-1 in conference play. Over the course of his career, Teevens was named the New England Coach of the Year three times — in 1990, 2015 and 2019 — and Ivy League Coach of the Year twice, in 2019 and 2021.

Teevens was known across the football world as an innovator, both for concussion-prevention and hiring women as coaches. He was one of the first college football coaches to eliminate tackling in practice and hired the first full-time Division I female football coach. Working alongside Dartmouth’s Thayer School of Engineering, Teevens built the Mobile Virtual Player, a robotic tackling dummy that is now used by other college and NFL teams. Teevens was also a proud part of the Manning Passing Academy for 25 years.

At the 2023 NFL Draft, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell honored Teevens on national television. Last week, all eight Ivy League football teams announced they would add a helmet decal with Teevens’s initials in support of him, his family and the Dartmouth community.

The Dartmouth football team hosts Lehigh University this Saturday at Memorial Field at 1:30 p.m. Prior to kickoff, there will be a moment of silence. After the game, there will be a gathering of remembrance. Dartmouth plans to honor Teevens’s legacy in the near future following input from his family, Beilock and Harrity wrote. 

Teevens was born in Pembroke, Massachusetts. He is survived by his wife Kirsten, their two children, Lindsay and Buddy Jr. and four grandchildren. 

This article will be updated as more details become available, and a full obituary will be published in the near future. If you would like to share a memory, please contact editor@thedartmouth.com.