Dartmouth campus and football communities remember late head coach Buddy Teevens

Roger Goodell, the commissioner of the National Football League, speaks during a celebration of life for longtime Dartmouth football coach Buddy Teevens at Memorial Field on Saturday, May 18, 2024, in Hanover, N.H. Teevens died in September, months after being struck by a vehicle while riding a bicycle in Florida. A crowd of 1,500 attended the event.  (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Roger Goodell, the commissioner of the National Football League, speaks during a celebration of life for longtime Dartmouth football coach Buddy Teevens at Memorial Field on Saturday, May 18, 2024, in Hanover, N.H. Teevens died in September, months after being struck by a vehicle while riding a bicycle in Florida. A crowd of 1,500 attended the event. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Jennifer Hauck

The Teevens family listens during a celebration of life ceremony held at Memorial Field on Saturday, May 18, 2024, in Hanover, N.H. Buddy Teevens, who died in September was Dartmouth's winningest head football coach in program history. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

The Teevens family listens during a celebration of life ceremony held at Memorial Field on Saturday, May 18, 2024, in Hanover, N.H. Buddy Teevens, who died in September was Dartmouth's winningest head football coach in program history. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Jennifer Hauck

Levi Fiedler, 3, of Long Island, N.Y., reaches for a football during a celebration of life ceremony for Dartmouth head football coach Buddy Teevens on Saturday, May 18, 2024, in Hanover, N.H. Levi’s father Jay Fiedler is a former professional football player who attended Dartmouth and played for Teevens.  (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Levi Fiedler, 3, of Long Island, N.Y., reaches for a football during a celebration of life ceremony for Dartmouth head football coach Buddy Teevens on Saturday, May 18, 2024, in Hanover, N.H. Levi’s father Jay Fiedler is a former professional football player who attended Dartmouth and played for Teevens. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Reggie Williams, all-American player and member of the College Hall of Fame, speaks to a crowd of 1,500 people during a celebration of life ceremony for longtime Dartmouth football coach Buddy Teevens at Memorial Field on Saturday, May 18, 2024, in Hanover, N.H. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Reggie Williams, all-American player and member of the College Hall of Fame, speaks to a crowd of 1,500 people during a celebration of life ceremony for longtime Dartmouth football coach Buddy Teevens at Memorial Field on Saturday, May 18, 2024, in Hanover, N.H. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Jennifer Hauck

Dartmouth football players and coaches sing the Dartmouth Alma Mater at the end of the celebration of life for Dartmouth football coach Buddy Teevens on Saturday, May 18, 2024, in Hanover, N.H.
 (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Dartmouth football players and coaches sing the Dartmouth Alma Mater at the end of the celebration of life for Dartmouth football coach Buddy Teevens on Saturday, May 18, 2024, in Hanover, N.H. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. valley news photographs — Jennifer Hauck

Curt Oberg, teammate and special assistant to the head coach for Buddy Teevens, was the final speaker during a celebration of life ceremony at Memorial Field on Saturday, May 18, 2024, in Hanover, N.H. Teevens died in September from injuries sustained in a bicycle accident months before. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Curt Oberg, teammate and special assistant to the head coach for Buddy Teevens, was the final speaker during a celebration of life ceremony at Memorial Field on Saturday, May 18, 2024, in Hanover, N.H. Teevens died in September from injuries sustained in a bicycle accident months before. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Jennifer Hauck

Sisters Lizzie Jenny, of Los Angeles, left, and Lauren Foley of Sudbury, Mass., watch as family photographs scroll on the big screen at Memorial Field at Dartmouth after a celebration of life ceremony for football coach Buddy Teevens on Saturday, May 18, 2024, in Hanover, N.H. Buddy Teevens was Jenny's godfather and Kirsten Teevens, Buddy Teevens's wife, is Foley's godmother. Buddy Teevens, who was Dartmouth's winningest head football coach in program history, died in September. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Sisters Lizzie Jenny, of Los Angeles, left, and Lauren Foley of Sudbury, Mass., watch as family photographs scroll on the big screen at Memorial Field at Dartmouth after a celebration of life ceremony for football coach Buddy Teevens on Saturday, May 18, 2024, in Hanover, N.H. Buddy Teevens was Jenny's godfather and Kirsten Teevens, Buddy Teevens's wife, is Foley's godmother. Buddy Teevens, who was Dartmouth's winningest head football coach in program history, died in September. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Jennifer Hauck

By BEN HOOKE

Valley News Correspondent

Published: 05-19-2024 7:08 PM

Modified: 05-20-2024 4:34 PM


HANOVER — At the stadium that will be named in his honor this fall, family, friends and colleagues of late Dartmouth College football coach Eugene F. “Buddy” Teevens gathered Saturday for an emotional celebration of life.

The event highlighted the influence and achievements of a man who spent a lifetime in football but was best remembered for how he touched people’s lives off the field.

Matt Shearin, who played for the Big Green from 2015-2018 and now works for the Los Angeles Rams, recalled the support his former coach had given him after he lost his mother and became sole guardian to his teenage sister in early 2023.

He told the 1,500 people in attendance the most important lesson Teevens shared: “It doesn’t hurt to shut up and listen to someone’s story. You just might become a better person by doing so.”

Teevens died last Sept. 19 at age 66 from injuries he sustained in March 2023 when he was struck by a vehicle while riding a bicycle in Florida.

Teevens starred as a football player at Dartmouth as a member of the Class of 1979. He had two stints as head coach of his alma mater, from 1987-91 and from 2005-22.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell praised Teevens as an endlessly energetic driver for player safety.

“Buddy Teevens inspired me to look outside my boundaries and what I think may be possible,” Goodell said.

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Former NFL quarterback Archie Manning remembered his time with Teevens as one of the inaugural coaches at the founding the Manning Passing Academy in 1992, an annual football camp that now counts generations of NFL players as alumni.

In the nearly 30 years the two spent running the MPA, Manning noted they worked in lock step to operate the camp: “More than a coach, more than a leader, more than an innovator, but a friend.”

Longtime Harvard football coach Tim Murphy, the winningest coach in Ivy League history, considered Teevens a mentor, close friend and rival.

“A better coach than I ever was,” Murphy said on Saturday.

In addition to his coaching prowess and advocacy for player safety, Teevens also was known for bringing more women into the sport.

Callie Brownson, the Cleveland Browns’ assistant wide receivers coach, was the first woman to coach in NCAA Division I football as a member of Teevens’ staff in 2018.

“I am not who I am, or where I am today, without Coach Teevens taking a chance on me, and I’m eternally grateful for that,” she said.

Even after she left Dartmouth for the NFL, Brownson said Teevens remained a friend and mentor.

Teevens’ younger brother, Shaun Teevens, a member of the Dartmouth Class of 1982, spoke of the compassionate yet fierce competitor that Teevens was from the very beginning and shared stories of the building of “Teevens Spa,” a rudimentary gym in an ancient barn at the family’s home in Pembroke, Mass.

“Buddy was our leader from the outset, and that continued right up to the time of his death,” Shaun Teevens said. “He was our pillar of strength; he set the bar for all of us.”

Also in attendance were Teevens’ mother, Mary, and his wife, Kirsten, along with their daughter Lindsay and son Buddy.

Doug Van Citters, an associate dean at the Thayer School of Engineering, spoke on the boundless enthusiasm Teevens displayed for all types of projects on campus.

“When Buddy was excited about something, you were excited about something,” Van Critters said. “When it came to mission-driven innovation, he could inspire everyone around him to find a way.”

Curt Oberg, a close friends who served as special assistant to Teevens, closed out the ceremony by praising the late coach as “someone who accomplished so much and yet remained so humble” before leading the assembled crowd in the college’s alma mater, something he and Teevens famously did for each team they had at Dartmouth.

The college will honor Teevens’ legacy once more on Oct. 5 prior to the Big Green’s game against Penn, when the stadium will be officially named Buddy Teevens Stadium at Memorial Field.

“I saw him embody everything that we want to be at Dartmouth,” President Sian Leah Beilock said in her remarks. “When we talk about independence and thinking differently, that was Buddy.”

Dartmouth trustee and fellow Class of 1979 member Peggy Epstein Tanner characterized the former Dartmouth two-sport athlete — Teevens also played college hockey — as the “most humble, selfless MVP you ever saw … who just enjoyed hanging out with his Beta brothers, listening to Jimmy Buffett and enjoying life’s little moments.”

She encouraged the attendees to “be a Buddy to one another.”

Ben Hooke can be reached at benhooke11@gmail.com.