Buddy Teevens, Dartmouth football coach, dies 6 months after being hit by pickup while cycling

Buddy Teevens, the innovative Ivy League football coach who brought robotic tackling dummies to Dartmouth College’s practices, died Tuesday of injuries he sustained from 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 inform you that our beloved ‘coach’ has peacefully passed away surrounded by family. Unfortunately, the injuries he sustained proved too challenging for even him to overcome,” the Teevens family said in a statement to Dartmouth. “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.”

Teevens had his right leg amputated following the accident in Florida earlier this year. Teevens and his wife, Kirsten, were riding on a road in the St. Augustine area when he was struck by a pickup on March 16.

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

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

CBS Sports reported that McCorkle informed the team of Teevens’ death Tuesday, and the Big Green planned to play its home opener Saturday against Lehigh. There will be a moment of silence prior to the game and a gathering of remembrance afterward, the school said.

The school said in the statement announcing Teevens’ death that they will “honor his legacy in the coming weeks and months with input” from his surviving family members.

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

Teevens was a former star Dartmouth quarterback who went on to become the school’s all-time wins leader with a 117-101-2 record in 23 seasons. He coached the Big Green from 1987-1991 and returned in 2005. His teams have won or shared five Ivy League championships.

In 1978, he was the Ivy League player of the year, leading Dartmouth to a league title.

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

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

He reduced full-contact practices by focusing on technique, while still leading winning teams.

He also led the development by Dartmouth’s engineering school of the the Mobile Virtual Player, a robotic tackling dummy that has also been used by other college programs and NFL teams.

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

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

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