Playing for Buddy Teevens, Dartmouth hoping for a return to form in 2023 – Ivy League Media Day

Buddy Teevens’ impact on the Ivy League will last forever whether he’s coaching or not, and it was evident on Monday.

During each of the eight teams’ availability during the virtual Media Day, he was the first guy mentioned by every head coach along with former Columbia head coach Al Bagnoli. Each coach passed along thoughts and well wishes for Teevens before getting into a “State of the Union” type address on their respective programs.

Interim head coach Sammy McCorkle provided an update before getting into his thoughts on this year’s team. Here’s everything McCorkle, safety Quinten Arello and QB Nick Howard had to say during the 20-minute session…


“Like many already know, Coach Teevens is in Boston. He’s surrounded by close friends and his families and he’s really working hard every single day to get better. Everybody that knows Coach Teevens, they know how tough he is. It’s been phenomenal, the support from individuals across the country. Every single one of the Ivy League coaches have been reaching out and communicating and have been concerned. We all know Coach T is a fighter and he’s going to continue to improve and he’s doing that on a daily basis.”


“I think our guys realized from last season that’s below our expectations. That’s below our bar. There’s a lot of things that occurred last year that were in our control and there’s a lot of things that weren’t in our control. The biggest thing we’ve focused on in the spring and it’s continued in preseason is that we lost a couple games in overtime last year. We really took the time and effort to really go through and make sure, we want to cover every base and see…if we would have done this, it would have been a little different. If we had made a different decision as coaches, would that have changed the outcome? We’re really stressing, and we’re going to stress this preseason, the things we can control, we really want to make sure we continue to work on that. So, if we’re ever in a particular situation again, we’re prepared. Things that are out of our control, injuries, that happens. How are we going to adjust? As Coach Teevens would always say, ‘you’ve got to adjust and improvise, A&I.’ How are we going to A&I? I think that’s going to be our biggest push going forward. Also, I think with our team, there’s a sense of urgency. Our team has that. Attention to detail, doing all the little things right. I think we realize how important those things are. That can be a big difference in a win or a loss. That’ll be our main focus going into preseason. We’re really excited . We have seven returning offensive starters and every position on our offense is a leading receiver, a leading passer, a leading rusher. Four of our five offensive linemen return from last year. Defensively, we return four starters…once again, we have our top two, top three tacklers on defense back. We’ll have much more experience this year than we had last year. We had about close to 72 guys that saw the field in some capacity last year. That’s going to be the biggest difference from our team last year to this year, just the experience. It’s not going to be the first time they’re in that situation. We’re super excited. We’ve got a little ways to go before that first game, it’s a big game against UNH down there at UNH. They’re a Top-10 team the last two years and we’ve had really good games against each other. We’re super excited, but we’re not focused on that right now. We’re focused on Day 1 that starts this weekend and going forward, making sure that when we leave that practice field, we’ve gotten better every single day.”


“Huge, I mean, when the situation occurred, it just naturally happened. Everybody took charge. They all knew we had to band together, support each other and you couldn’t ask for better staff. This group has been together for a long time. We speak the same language. It doesn’t always mean we agree on everything, but we get along enough that we know how to have a discussion, a conversation. We know the common goal is to find a solution that’s going to help us go forward. It’s been great. Every individual that’s part of this program that’s part of this staff have done a phenomenal job just stepping up and taking charge.”


“I mean, really, I was looking at it from the bigger perspective, not just football, but where I want to be, who I want to be spending my time with. Ultimately, I decided Hanover is home. Our staff, my teammates, the town itself, the college, I love it here and I didn’t want to give it up. There are other opportunities, a lot of our guys did move on and w’re wishing them the best, but I felt like I had some unfinished business here in Hanover and I’m really looking forward to going out with Quinten, with our staff  and the rest of our awesome teammates and chase that dream.”


“I think one of the major factors overall is just our attitude as an offense. We had a lot of new guys last year. A lot of young guys who hadn’t played trying to figure it out on the field, the whole getting your feet wet. But, we’re hitting the ground running now. Four of our five offensive linemen are coming back. We have a super experienced receiving core. All three of our older QB’s have played. Our tight ends are very deep and some guys have a lot of experience. Overall across the board I think the biggest thing is just shifting the attitude from ‘I’m trying to figure this out, I don’t want to mess up,’ into ‘I’m just attacking every single snap.’ Coming with a different mentality and understanding that not only do I know what I’m doing, but I’m going to do it 100 MPH without fear of making mistakes. I think that’s going to make a big difference with some of those situations that previously were unprecedented for us. Now, as we’ve been working in practice and just throw in all the other obstacles we’ve had this offseason, I really think the distractions and the fearfulness is out of the way.”


“Last year was not our expectation as a defense, there’s no doubt about that. But, as Nick and our head coach Sammy McCorkle both stated, last year we played a little bit timid. So I thin moving forward, the biggest change for our defense is playing with a lot more confidence. Last year, we only returned two maybe three true starters on defense. This year we’re returning four, but the way I look at it, we have eight because we have corner positions – unfortunately guys got injured – but underclassmen were able to step up and fill that role. Same thing with the free safety position and the linebacker position as well. Just that experience from last year and going into spring ball created a lot of confidence that otherwise we didn’t have last year. That’s a huge difference. Obviously, losing Shane Cokes in the pass rush game is a huge loss, but I feel confident that we can bounce back from that. Losing Marques White last year during the Yale game, he was a huge loss but he’s coming back. He’s a force to be reckoned with. I’m super excited to see what he’s going to be able to do. I think the biggest difference is just the confidence. I believe in the guys in front of me and I’m super excited to see what we can do this year.”


“We’ve been fortunate to have a very good D-line in the past, there’s no doubt about that. The young guys being able to step up this year and getting playing time last year, that’s what I’m super excited for. As a secondary, having a good D-line is phenomenal. It makes my job 10 times easier. I’m super excited for that. But also, on the boundary, on my side of the field having a boundary corner that can really fit into the run game to compliment our inside linebacker is just a huge benefit. It makes my job easier. It makes the other teams’ job much more difficult. Just having another all, long boundary corner is something I’m super excited for and I think we saw glimpses of that last with Leo St. Gourdin. Love him to death. Super physical, super aggressive and super excited he’ll be playing on my side of the ball.”