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The Dartmouth
June 20, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Dartmouth honors Buddy Teevens in celebration of life

The College celebrated the legacy of late Big Green head football coach Eugene F. “Buddy” Teevens III on May 18.

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On May 18, the College honored late Big Green head football coach Eugene F. “Buddy” Teevens III — the winningest coach in program history —  in a celebration of life ceremony at Memorial Field. 

More than 1,500 people — including hundreds of former and current players — attended the celebration, according to Dartmouth News.

During the ceremony, participants remembered Teevens not only for his role on the field but also for his contributions beyond football.

Abrm McQuarters ’17, a former player of Teevens and a pastoral resident at Christ Redeemer Church, opened the ceremony with a prayer.

College President Sian Leah Beilock followed, reflecting on her relationship with Teevens. After Beilock was selected as College President in 2023, she said Teevens called her to say he was “fired up” to work together.

Former classmate and longtime friend of Teevens Peggy Epstein Tanner ’79 took the stage next to remember her peer, saying she believed “Buddy” was a fitting name for Teevens.

“The definition of a buddy is being a close friend, a companion,” she said. “I believe everyone here today, and so many others who were unable to attend, felt Buddy was their buddy. So, when we think of how best to honor Buddy’s legacy, let’s be each other’s buddy.”

Athletic director Mike Harrity then delivered remarks about a sketch Teevens drew him, which Harrity said he keeps with him to this day.

Teevens’s younger brother, Shaun Teevens ’82, took the podium to tell stories of Buddy’s early years in their family. Shaun Teevens described his brother with 12 words: leader, motivator, hard worker, determined, competitive, creative, humble, positive, compassionate, loyal, tough and fun.

Shaun Teevens added that his brother would not have reached his level of success without his family.

“To Lindsay and Eugene [Teevens’s children]: Buddy accomplished a lot in his career but viewed his family as his greatest achievement,” Shaun said. “To Kirsten: wherever you lived, you created a warm and loving home. Buddy loved you and he was honored to call you his wife.”

Ben Riley ’79, another classmate of Teevens’s, then performed a rendition of Jimmy Buffet’s “Changes in Latitudes,” having rewritten the lyrics to reflect Teevens’s life.

Before they were rivals, Tim Murphy, the former head football coach at Harvard University, was Teevens’s childhood friend. Murphy said he recently retired from Harvard after 30 years because he wanted to finish his career at the same time as his friend.

“We both coached for 45 years,” Murphy said. “We were born five days apart. We were joined at the hip for 55 years, and always said we would go out together.”

Engineering professor Doug Van Citters ’99 said he became acquainted with Teevens when Teevens had the first ideas for the Mobile Virtual Player, a robotic mobile tackling dummy. For its first two seasons at Dartmouth, the MVP reduced concussions by 58%, and sold out when half the NFL and football programs nationwide purchased it for themselves, according to the MVP website. 

MVP co-inventor and MVP Robotics CEO Quinn Connell ’13 Th’14 said he was one of the students that worked on the concept with Teevens.

“Working with Buddy was just a joy,” Connell said in an interview with The Dartmouth. “He had such an energy about him and was so fully engaged and committed in every moment of his life.”

Former Dartmouth football players Tony Pastoors ’10 and Matt Shearin ’19 then reflected on their time playing for Teevens, after which they led all past and present football players at the event in renditions of “As the Backs Go Tearing By” and “Glory to Dartmouth.” Hundreds of players stood and sang along. 

“[Sit] in front of the class — shirt tucked in, no hats — introduce yourself to your professor, sit with a stranger at lunch,” Pastoors said in an interview with The Dartmouth. “Those are all the things that Buddy instilled in all of us.”

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in a speech that Teevens will have a lasting impact on the sport at large.

“Buddy was willing to go find solutions coaches wouldn’t be willing to make,” Goodell added in an interview with The Dartmouth. “He did it and he won, and he won more ways than one.”

Los Angeles Rams general manager Les Snead also recognized how Teevens’s legacy will remain in the NFL.

“He changed the game, but you could tell that he invested in people’s lives, and then that compounded to impacting the game of football and also the game of life,” Snead said.

Murray Bowden ’71, who played football at Dartmouth, said “having Buddy in our lives will continue to be a blessing.”

Former NFL quarterback Archie Manning, father of former NFL players Peyton and Eli Manning, spoke about working with Teevens at the Manning Passing Academy — saying they “never had a disagreement.”

“That’s because Buddy Teevens was more than a coach — he was a friend,” Manning said.

Teevens also created spaces for women on the football field by hiring the first female full-time Division I coach, Callie Brownson, who now works in the NFL.

“[Teevens] did a lot of things for the game of football, and one of those categories was giving women opportunities when nobody else was doing it,” Brownson said in an interview with The Dartmouth. “He continued to do the right thing and hire women and on top of that, he gave us the opportunity to grow and flourish.”

Coach Curt Oberg ’78 — Teevens’s friend, teammate and his special assistant at Dartmouth — commemorated Teevens by reading “Buddy-isms” to conclude the speaker portion of the event.

“Buddy’s motto was, ‘Be a great football player at football time, be a great student at academic time and be a great person all of the time,” Oberg said.

To close the event, the crowd then stood to sing the Dartmouth alma mater.

On Oct. 5, Memorial Field will be renamed Buddy Teevens Stadium at Memorial Field in honor of Teevens’s memory, according to Dartmouth News.