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Former UMaine football head coach Buddy Teevens dies at age 66

Former University of Maine football head coach Buddy Teevens, most known for his time as the head coach at Dartmouth College, has died at age 66, following complications suffered in a biking accident in March of this year. 

Along with being a head coach for 30 years, he was well known for his advocacy of concussions and players’ safety. Along with this, he was known for bringing robotic tackling dummies to Dartmouth in order to help make practices safer.

Teevens started his career in football as a quarterback for Dartmouth. After graduating, he would become an assistant coach with DePauw University before becoming the offensive coordinator for Boston University Terriers from 1981 to 1984. In 1985, he was hired as the head coach at UMaine.

In his first season with the Black Bears, he would lead the team to a 6-5 record that was highlighted by defeating the thirteenth-ranked Delaware Fightin’ Blue Hens 10-7 to end the season. In his second season with UMaine, Teevens would lead the team to a 7-4 record, with the team being ranked 13th in the nation for one week before losing to Teevens former team, Boston University, 26-23, though the team would end the season by knocking off their rivals, eleventh-ranked UNH 14-13.

Following his success at UMaine, Teevens would leave the school to return to his alma mater, Dartmouth, for the first time from 1987 to 1991. After going 2-8 his first year, Dartmouth would have a record 5–5 and 7–2–1 the next two seasons before splitting the Ivy League title with Cornell with a 7-2-1 record and winning the Ivy League outright in 1991 with the same record.

After 1991, Teevens would leave Dartmouth and the FCS level to move up to the FBS level and join Tulane. In his five years there, Tulane would struggle, with Teevens’ final record being 11-45. Though he did not have success, he deserves credit for the 1998 12-0 season Tulane had, as a majority of those players he recruited to the team.

Following Tulane, he would become an assistant coach at Florida before getting a chance to be the head coach at Stanford. His time there did not go well, as he finished with a 10-23 record in three seasons and never beat a team with a winning record. As with everything Teevens did, he handled it with grace and class, even attending the announcement of his firing.

“Unfortunately, it’s a win-loss business and I didn’t win enough ball games,” Teevens said after being fired. “The attitude I have is I do believe I improved the quality of the program. I appreciate the opportunity. When you look back, there are a lot of things that are ‘could have, should have.’”

Three months after being fired from Stanford, Teevens would be rehired by Dartmouth to return, and to say his first few seasons were rough would be an understatement. Teevens won just seven games, including having a 0-10 season in 2008. However, in 2013, Dartmouth would go 6-4, their best record in 13 years and in 2015, would lead the team to their first Ivy League title since 1996 along with winning two more in 2019 and 2021.

In 2023 though, everything changed for the worst. On March 16, 2023, Teevens was hit by a Ford F150 while riding his bicycle after he failed to yield. It was reported that he suffered spinal cord injuries and had to have his right leg amputated. Sadly, he never would fully recover, as he died from the injuries he suffered in the accident on Sept. 19 surrounded by his family.

While Teeven’s tenure here at UMaine might have been a short one, it was the start to a legendary coaching career that impacted so much more than just this school. His work on making football safer will be felt for generations to come, and his legacy as not just a great coach but a great person will never be forgotten.

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