Dartmouth football coach Buddy Teevens makes a promise to recruited players before they take the field: “In four years, you will never tackle another Dartmouth football player.”
Teevens, a former Dartmouth player who has coached at the Ivy League school for 15 years, has eliminated all live tackling from practices, including spring and preseason. He told Congress Friday the result has been far fewer concussions, less practice time missed due to injury — and wins.
Since cutting back on tackling in 2010, Dartmouth has not had a losing record. Last year, Big Green tied Harvard for the Ivy League championship. Just as important to Teevens: No defensive player suffered a concussion in 2015.
Instead of practicing on each other, Teevens’ players practice on pads and dummies, including a robotic tackling dummy.
“I love football,” Teevens said, “but I love my players more.”