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Dartmouth’s New Football Coach Has a Famous Heritage

May 30, 2018 05:57PM ● Published by Linda Ditch

Big Green’s hiring of a new wide receivers’ coach for its football program is newsworthy. However, when that coach’s last name is Shula and he’s an alumnus, then it becomes a major story. Dartmouth College signed former Cincinnati Bengals head coach Dave Shula just before spring football practice began. He returns to coaching for the first time after an almost 20-year break from the game.

Dave is the oldest son of NFL Hall of Fame coach Don Shula. He was an NFL assistant coach for 10 seasons before taking the Bengals head coaching job, which he was fired from in the middle of the 1996 season. Since then, he’s managed the Shula restaurant business, which has 26 locations in 12 states.

On his return to coaching, Dave told the Miami Herald, “It’s kind of like planets getting back in alignment. That’s the way it feels to me.”

As a Dartmouth student, Dave earned All-Ivy honors as a receiver. He was a history major and a member of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity and graduated in 1981. While a student, he became friends with current head coach Buddy Teevens and met his wife, Leslie. His son, Dan, played quarterback for the Big Green from 2002 to 2005.

According to the Herald article, Buddy often mentioned coaching positions that were open to see how Dave would respond. Previously, the answer was always no. This time, it was maybe.

Dave told the paper, “All three of our sons said, ‘Yeah, Dad, you’re a little bit crazy.’ But I always felt one step away. This time it felt right.”


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