HANOVER, N.H. — The Dartmouth College football team and Buddy Teevens, the Robert L. Blackman Head Football Coach, today announced the hiring of former NFL head coach and Big Green wide receiver Dave Shula ’81 to be the team’s receivers coach.
Shula spent 15 seasons coaching in the NFL, the last five as the head coach of the Cincinnati Bengals (1992-96) as one of the youngest head coaches — 32 when he was hired — the league has ever had. His final full season in Cincinnati was his best, leading the squad to a 7-9 record and a tie for second place in the AFC Central in 1995.
“I appreciate the opportunity that Coach Teevens has given me,” Shula said. “I am lucky to be married to a member of the Class of 1981, and our oldest son is an ’06, so Dartmouth roots run deep. I look forward to helping Dartmouth continue its championship tradition.”
After signing out of Dartmouth as an undrafted free agent with the Baltimore Colts in 1981, Shula spent one season on the roster and saw action in all 16 games as a kickoff and punt returner. The following year, he began his coaching career on the staff of the Miami Dolphins under the tutelage of his father, Don Shula, in the final game of the regular season and all the way to the Super Bowl while filling in for the departed offensive coordinator.
Shula served as the wide receivers coach for the next three seasons, overseeing the likes of young players like Mark Clayton and Mark Duper. In 1985, he took on the duties of the quarterbacks coach as well, working with Hall of Famer Dan Marino, before turning his full attention to the men behind center in 1988.
After seven years with the Dolphins, he was hired by the Dallas Cowboys to help start the rebuilding process under new head coach Jimmy Johnson as his offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. During Shula’s two years in that role, he mentored a rookie quarterback named Troy Aikman, helping him win seven games in his second year in the league.
In 1991, Shula joined the Bengals staff as the wide receivers coach under Sam Wyche, then took over head coaching duties the following year.
Shula is one of the most prolific receivers in Dartmouth history and still ranks sixth all-time with 1,822 receiving yards as well as eighth with 133 receptions in three seasons on the varsity squad. Two of his three years still sit among the top 20 in both receptions and yardage with 49 catches for 656 yards as a sophomore — with Teevens playing quarterback — and 52 grabs for 758 yards as a senior in 1980.
Shula, a 1981 graduate with a degree in history, has spent the past 20-plus years working in various capacities for the family restaurant, Shula’s Steak House, helping the chain grow from six to 30 restaurants while serving as the president of the company.
“Dave and his family are a wonderful addition to Dartmouth and our football program,” Teevens said. “His love of the college, expertise in the game, experience and character will have a significant impact on everyone associated with Dartmouth Football.”
Dartmouth, which was 8-2 overall last year and 5-2 in the Ivy League, begins its spring practice on April 10.