Remembering the life and legacy of Dartmouth football coach Buddy Teevens
HANOVER, N.H. (WCAX) - Legendary Dartmouth College Football Coach Buddy Teevens has passed due to complications from a March bicycle accident in Florida. Teevens touched many lives over the years both on and off the field as a player and a coach. But his legacy and impact on the community extends far beyond the field.
“It’s sad, just sad,” said Mike McCune, a former WCAX Sports director who played for Teevens for four years during his time at the Big Green.
The Dartmouth flag is flying at half-staff on the campus green. The stadium where Buddy Teevens holds the record for the coach with the most wins is empty. Teevens died Tuesday at the age of 66.
“He supported you and pushed you and made you want to play for him,” McCune said.
Covering the team as a sports reporter, McCune said the most impressive trait about Coach Teevens was his honesty.
“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,” McCune said.
News of Teevens’ death months after the bike accident that left him with debilitating injuries has made national headlines. The 1979 Dartmouth grad, who was a standout quarterback himself, also coached at Tulane and Stanford.
“It was just heartbreaking,” said Joey Pellegrino of Fairlee.
Pellegrino has been attending games at the Ivy League School for more than a decade. He remembers Teevens for the way he treated his son Ragan always taking time out before big home games for a quick photo.
“I think it just shows he’s a great person and he takes time out to talk to everyone he can,” Pellegrino said.
It seems that many in the college town have similar stories about the coach.
“Who was I? I was a caterer doing a little food service and he was the man,” said Jack Stinson, whose family has owned a store downtown since the late 1970s.
He first met Teevens working at an event on campus.
“He was like the guy that was a superstar who would just walk up and shake your hand and introduce himself. ‘Hi, how you doing?’” Stinson said.
The college released a statement on Teevens’ death that included: “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.”
The college plans to honor Teevens’ memory in the weeks and months ahead, most immediately with a moment of silence before this Saturday’s football game.
TEEVENS’ ON-FIELD ACCOMPLISHMENTS
The loss of Buddy Teevens will leave a lasting impact on the Hanover community, but he leaves a major legacy behind on the field, as well. He was a key fixture for some of Dartmouth’s best teams in the modern era.
Teevens played for the Big Green from 1976 to 1978, taking over the starting quarterback role as a junior. But Teevens’ senior year is when he really thrived. He completed better than 60% of his passes, accounted for eight total touchdowns and he earned Ivy League Player of the Year honors in leading Dartmouth to a 6-1 conference record and the outright Ivy League Championship.
And that was just his playing career, he obviously was with the program much longer once he switched over to coaching.
He got started as an assistant, first at Depauw in Indiana right out of school before moving back east to work at BU. His first head coaching stop came at Maine in the mid-1980s before he returned to Dartmouth.
Teevens would end up doing two stints in Hanover as the head coach. He took over for his old college coach Joe Yukica in 1987, and in his fourth and fifth years, he claimed Ivy League titles with our friend Mike McCune clearing the way on the offensive line. Teevens left after that 1991 championship season, he had head coaching stops at both Tulane and Stanford, sandwiching assistant gigs at Illinois and Florida.
Teevens would return to Dartmouth in 2005 and spend the rest of his career in Hanover. It took a few years to recapture some of the old success, but from 2010 to 2022, the Big Green had just two losing seasons. They finished ranked in the FCS Top 25 four times and won three more Ivy League crowns. With 117 career coaching victories, Teevens holds the program record.
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