From Bushnell winner to Bushnell coach: Buddy Teevens
I am a big fan of the Columbia basketball teams and that’s why I’m delighted to learn that an enthusiastic new blogger has decided to follow the CU men’s basketball team.
The blog is called “Going Lions,” and it’s run by a man from Inwood named Henry Vick.
Henry says he got into Columbia sports because he lives so close to Wien Stadium and first got hooked on the football team.
Welcome Henry and go Lion hoops!
Bushnell Cup Dry Spells
We’re a week away from the special ceremony honoring the winner of the MVP award for Ivy League football 2010.
It’s interesting that two of the most likely contenders come from schools that haven’t enjoyed a Bushnell Cup winner in the longest time.
The longest draught right now belongs to Columbia. The Lions haven’t had an MVP winner since John Witkowski ’84 won it in 1982, 28 years ago.
The second longest streak belongs to Dartmouth, which is at 18 years and counting since QB Jay Fiedler took home the cup in 1992.
Like the Biblical story in Genesis, Dartmouth’s 18 years of famine have come after some years of plenty. Fiedler was the third straight Big Green star to win the cup, following Shon Page and Al Rosier in 1990 and 1991, respectively.
Columbia has had only one other Bushnell winner besides Witkowski. That was RB Doug Jackson '76 in 1975.
In the running, (at least most people believe so), this year from Dartmouth is RB Nick Schwieger and from Columbia, QB Sean Brackett.
It should be noted that if either of them win, it really would be a historic moment for the league because of the long dry spells for each school.
In case you were wondering how all the schools measure up in total Bushnell Cup winners:
(includes repeat winners and co-winners)
Another interesting tidbit is that if Schwieger wins, he’ll be the third-ever Bushnell Cup winner to have a head coach who is former Bushnell winner.
He would join Page and Rosier who were also coached by 1978 Bushnell winner Buddy Teevens.
To be fair, Teevens is the ONLY former Bushnell winner to become an Ivy head coach… not that others haven’t tried very hard.
In fact, the personal histories of some of the Bushnell winners are a good lesson in how rare it is for star football players to become successful head coaches or managers in any sport.
One Bushnell winner who has tried more than once to grab a head coaching spot in the Ivies is 1985 winner Tom Gilmore. Gilmore remains the skipper of a pretty successful Holy Cross squad, but has for some reason not been given the call at any of the five Ivy schools that have had head coaching openings since 2005.
A number of Bushnell winners have been assistant coaches to Bushnell winners. That includes Columbia’s Doug Jackson who was at Penn when Gilmore won the cup.
Jackson came back to Columbia, also as an assistant, in 1986. But Jackson’s Ivy career ended two years later as he was caught up in the mess that led to Head Coach Larry McElreavy’s ouster.
Princeton’s current OC James Perry won the Bushnell in 1999 when he was a spectacular QB at Brown. But after this year’s performance with the Tigers, Perry’s chances to become a head coach anywhere have taken a hit.
1988 winner Jason Garrett leapfrogged college coaching altogether and is now the interim head coach of the Dallas Cowboys. It’s doubtful he’ll ever become an Ivy coach.
The list goes on.
Would Ivy football be a better experience for fans and players if more of its ex-players became head coaches in the league?
It’s probably not a question that can be answered in anything other than a case-by-case basis.
But the recent data is not encouraging.
Former Ivy stars Bill Campbell and Bob Shoop had very limited success as head coaches at Columbia.
The jury is still out on people like Teevens, who excelled toward the end of his first tenure at Dartmouth and is just now seeing some success in his second.
Bob Surace has hit rock bottom in year one at Princeton.
Jim Knowles never made it happen at Cornell in his six years at the helm that ended lat season.
Despite the recent track records, I would like to see more Ivy grid alums become head coaches in the league.
Maybe we just need a different KIND of alum to jump into the ring?