18 April 2024
Football Sports

Buddy Teevens, Pioneering Dartmouth Soccer Coach, Dies at 66

Buddy Teevens, who had extra victories than any coach in Dartmouth School soccer historical past, and who turned a nationally acknowledged innovator in participant security when he eradicated tackling throughout practices to restrict the incidence of concussions, died on Tuesday in Boston. He was 66.

His demise, at a hospital, was announced by Dartmouth on its web site. The trigger was problems of the accidents he sustained in a bicycling accident six months in the past.

Mr. Teevens was bicycling together with his spouse, Kirsten (Anderson) Teevens, on March 16 in St. Augustine, Fla., close to one in all their houses, when he was hit by a pickup truck. He suffered spinal wire harm, and his proper leg was amputated. He was not carrying a helmet, according to a police report.

When Mr. Teevens was a pupil at Dartmouth, he led the Large Inexperienced to the Ivy League championship as quarterback in 1978. And over 22 seasons because the crew’s soccer coach, he had a report of 117-101-2 and guided it to 5 convention titles, most not too long ago in 2021.

In 2010, with concussive trauma to soccer gamers turning into a well being disaster within the sport, Mr. Teevens eradicated tackling in practices, in recognition of analysis that confirmed most concussions didn’t happen throughout video games.

Opposite to issues from Mr. Teevens’s friends that gamers would lose their edge if there was no tackling in observe, he stated, they sharpened their expertise.

“It hasn’t damage our degree of play,” he instructed The New York Instances in 2016. “It’s really made us a greater crew.”

Concussions fell to a handful. Missed tackles dropped. And the Large Inexperienced went 6-4 in 2010, an unlimited enchancment over its data of 0-10 in 2008 and 2-8 in 2009.

Mr. Teevens augmented the ban on tackling in 2015 with the Mobile Virtual Player, a remote-controlled robotic tackling dummy that he developed with Dartmouth’s Thayer College of Engineering.

The robotic dummy can transfer at almost 20 miles an hour and might mimic a participant by weaving, slicing, and stopping and beginning on a discipline. It lets coaches educate correct tackling methods with out exposing gamers to bodily contact with different gamers.

“After I got here up with the thought, my employees thought I used to be nuts,” Mr. Teevens told N.F.L.com in 2016.

Quickly, nonetheless, about half the groups within the N.F.L. have been utilizing the gadget. Mr. Teevens, who’s one in all 5 holders of the patent on the “cellular gadget which simulates participant motion,” was chairman of MVP Robotics, the maker of the robotic dummy, which gained an award from the N.FL. in 2017 for innovation in athlete security and efficiency.

Eugene Francis Teevens III was born on Oct. 1, 1956, in Pembroke, Mass., a suburb of Boston. His father, Eugene Francis Teevens II, was a supervisor of Pittsburgh Plate Glass and a graduate of Dartmouth. His mom, Mary (Horn) Teevens, was a homemaker.

He was Dartmouth’s quarterback from 1975 to 1978, when the crew’s 6-1 convention report earned it the Ivy League title. He additionally performed ice hockey. He graduated in 1979 with a bachelor’s diploma in historical past.

He started his teaching profession because the offensive backfield coach at DePauw College in Indiana and later was named offensive coordinator at Boston College. He turned the top coach on the College of Maine in 1985, however after two seasons, when the college had a 13-9 report, he returned to Dartmouth as its head coach.

He left after 5 profitable seasons, which included two Ivy League titles, to educate at Tulane College in New Orleans. However his 11-45 report there led to his dismissal in 1996. He spent the subsequent 5 seasons as an assistant on the College of Illinois and the College of Florida.

He returned to move teaching at Stanford in 2002, however he had no extra success there than he had at Tulane: The crew went 10-23 in three seasons, and he was fired. In early 2005, Dartmouth rehired him as head coach.

He had dropping data in every of his first 5 seasons again with the Large Inexperienced. However with higher recruiting, stronger assistant coaches and the ban on tackling, Dartmouth had solely two dropping seasons in its final 11 years below Mr. Teevens. He stated that ending tackling in observe helped him recruit, as a result of mother and father have been nervous about their sons getting hit an excessive amount of.

His marketing campaign to ban tackling was copied by the remainder of the Ivy League throughout the common season. However the different colleges nonetheless allowed tackling throughout spring and preseason practices.

Terry O’Neil, the founder of Practice Like Pros, a gaggle that advocates decreasing collisions in youth soccer, stated that Mr. Teevens’s ban on tackling made him one thing of a unicorn.

“He’s the one coach in professional or faculty soccer — some highschool coaches have adopted his lead — to by no means sort out at any time within the full calendar,” Mr. O’Neil stated by cellphone. “It’s a rare routine.”

Mr. Teevens was additionally recognized for hiring two girls who’ve gone on to jobs within the N.F.L. In 2018, Callie Brownson turned the primary full-time assistant in Division I faculty soccer when she was employed as Dartmouth’s offensive high quality management coach. When she left, Mr. Teevens employed Jennifer King to switch her. Ms. Brownson is now the assistant large receivers coach for the Cleveland Browns, and Ms. King is the assistant working backs coach of the Washington Commanders.

“He gave me my first huge probability to chase a dream I had without end,” Ms. Brownson, stated in a tribute to Mr. Teevens on the Dartmouth soccer web site, including that “he selected to do the proper factor, and it modified my life without end.”

Mr. Teevens is survived by his mom; his spouse; his daughter, Lindsay Knittle; his son, Eugene IV; 4 grandchildren; his sisters, Deborah Teevens-Gangl, Moira Nobili and Tara Manne; and his brothers, Scott, Shaun, Christopher, Kevin and Tim.

In 2016, after the Ivy League voted on a tackling ban, Mr. Teevens testified at a hearing on concussions in youth sports activities held by the Home Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.

“Except we modify the best way we coach,” he stated, “we gained’t have a sport to educate.”