Dartmouth football head coach Eugene “Buddy” Teevens died Tuesday at the age of 66 due to complications resulting from a biking accident six months ago.
Teevens has been a main staple of Ivy League football over the last several decades, playing for the Big Green and later returning to the program as a coach. As a quarterback, Teevens led Dartmouth to an Ivy League title and won Ivy League Player of the Year in 1978. He would go on to spend 22 of his 30 seasons as a head coach at Dartmouth, securing himself the honor of being the winningest head coach in program history while also winning five Ivy League titles.
Despite all the accolades, what was most impressive about his career was his ability to progress the sport away from the gridiron. Teevens made massive strides toward improving player health and safety. One of his biggest contributions on this front has been implementing practice methods that help protect players from concussions and other injuries.
Teevens also placed major emphasis on technique rather than full-contact practices, leading to the creation of a robotic tackling dummy by Dartmouth’s Thayer School of Engineering known as the Mobile Virtual Player, which has been used by other college programs and multiple NFL teams.
While the Big Green’s success under Teevens often came at the expense of the Quakers, his death will loom large. His impact, which extends far beyond the playing field, has made its mark, and the Ivy League was incredibly lucky to have had a coach who cared so deeply about the game — a coach who has done so much for the progression of the game that opposing coaches can’t help but respect him.
“This is an incredibly sad and shocking time for a lot of us who have worked with and competed against Coach Teevens,” said Penn football coach Ray Priore. “He was a great ambassador for the game of football and especially for the Ivy League, and his legacy is intact despite his passing. Penn and Dartmouth have had some incredible battles over the last few decades, I was lucky enough to face off with his teams through both of his tenures at Dartmouth and got to witness first-hand his evolution as a coach. It will be bittersweet facing them next weekend and not getting to shake his hand before or after the game.”
Teevens is survived by his wife, Kirsten Teevens, and their two children as well as four grandchildren. At Penn’s Ivy League play opener against Dartmouth, players on both teams will be sporting a decal with his initials on their helmets to support the family.