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An Unforgettable Conversion

An Unforgettable Conversion

Tevlin Returns to Yale Practice  


NEW HAVEN, Conn. - When Brian Tevlin took a pass from Tewaaraton Award winner Ben Reeves and scored a goal on a classic, pick-and-roll play that helped Yale beat Duke in the 2018 NCAA Championship Game, it was a conversion that the then-rookie midfielder will never forget.


"That was unreal. Unforgettable moment for sure," said Tevlin, who scored 3 times in 2018 and 2 were in the NCAA Tournament. "Something I will be telling my grandkids about one day, though I will probably make it sound a little bigger than it was… like a game-winner."


Tevlin's conversion from Be The Match registrant to a donor will never be forgotten by a man battling leukemia.


That's all Tevlin knows about the recipient of his marrow, which was taken during a procedure on March 20 in New Jersey, three days before his defending national championship team beat Princeton about 35 miles from his home in Livingston.


"He exceeds expectations all the time," said Yale Head Coach Andy Shay of his second-year player and his potential return to game action. "It was an uncommon sacrifice, and he's an uncommon person. He makes you proud all the time."


Tevlin, a Yale sophomore who rooted on his teammates from the sideline during that March 23 win against the Tigers as well as the victory over Air Force on the 26th while he recovered from having a needle inserted into his back, was on the field at practice on the 27th and could play at Penn this Saturday in a matchup of undefeated teams in Ivy League play.


Most marrow donations are as easy as a blood transfusion. The procedure Tevlin went through requires a week of rest followed by as much activity as his tolerance for pain will allow. The multiple-sport high school captain is anxious to get back, even with some discomfort.


"I have way too much energy come Saturday to be hanging on the sideline for much longer. I think that's why I'm itching to get out there," said the former high school All-American who joined the registry of Be The Match when he was at Seton Hall Prep because the process saved the life of his best friend's mom.


More people around the campus are learning about Tevlin's experience, and that could lead to a big turnout for the April 18 Mandi Schwartz Marrow Donor Registration Drive at Yale.


"We are thrilled that Brian chose to save a life," said Larry Ciotti, a longtime member of the Yale football coaching staff and the chairman of the Mandi Schwartz event. "The fact that he donated so close to our annual drive will help to raise awareness for this great cause."


Tevlin has 8 goals and 13 points in 5 games, including a career-high 4 tallies and 6 points in a win over Michigan. The Bulldogs would love to have him back as soon as possible, but they were always behind him 100 percent.


"Lacrosse means as much to me as anyone, but he's [Tevlin] changing someone's life and he's helping save a life, so you can't ever fault a guy for doing that," said Yale junior TD Ierlan a few days before the marrow transplant. "We're going to miss him on the field, but we're going to miss him off the field even more."


A year from now, Tevlin and the marrow recipient can consent to learning about each other and possibly connecting. The Bulldog midfielder would love to share stories about another championship and maybe another unforgettable conversion.



Brian Tevlin, Yale Lacrosse

Class: Sophomore

Position; Midfielder

Measurements: 5-11, 185 pounds

Hometown: Livingston, N.J.

High School: Seton Hall Prep


Mandi Schwartz Marrow Donor Registration Drive at Yale Facts

  • 10 years of drives at Yale
  • 6,918 potential donors added to the Be The Match Registry -- more than any other school
  • At least 54 donor matches for patients in need
  • Part of the "Get in the Game. Save a Life." program for Be The Match
    • Started by Villanova football coach Andy Talley, Larry Ciotti's (former Yale coach) SCSU teammate
    • Now includes 125 schools
  • Link to join the registry, or for more info:
  • This year's drive is Thursday Apr. 18 on the Yale campus. 11 AM to 6 PM on Cross Campus







Contact: Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity –