Hall of Fame
CLASS OF 2021
He was a University of Houston legend — the father of the veer offense and the man who, along with another UH legend, Guy V. Lewis, helped change the face of major intercollegiate athletics in the South. The tale begins in 1962 when Bill Yeoman took the job as the head football coach for the University of Houston.
Taking over at UH was a tall order for Yeoman, who said the UH football program was “unbelievably different” than that of the program he left at Michigan State. Yeoman knew he had a tall order ahead of him, so he hit the ground running, and for three decades, Coach Yeoman worked tirelessly to build the foundation and set the standard for success at the University of Houston.
The Yeoman Family at the 2021 Houston Sports Awards.
Yeoman took UH from relative obscurity to national prominence, leading to membership in the Southwest Conference. At U.H. he won the SWC in its first season, going 10-2 and finishing with a No. 4 ranking in 1976, beginning a dominant run that produced three more league titles (1978-79,1984) until Yeoman’s retirement in 1986.
Yeoman, a visionary, was the first head football coach at a prominent Texas program to offer a scholarship to an African American. Also, he was an innovator who introduced the legendary veer offense, which he “stumbled upon … by accident.”
Watch Bill Yeoman Jr.'s interview with Kevin Eschenfelder on the "Red Carpet" at the 2021 Houston Sports Awards.
Ultimately, Yeoman coached 46 All-Americans and 69 players who played in the NFL. Yeoman twice had teams go 11-1, in 1973 as an independent and in 1979 when his Cougars beat Nebraska 17-14 in the closing seconds of the Cotton Bowl to finish No. 5 nationally.
The Yeoman Family on stage at the 2021 Houston Sports Awards.
Among his many honors, Yeoman was inducted into the U.H. Hall of Honor in 1998, the College Football Hall of Fame in 2001, and the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in 2003.
Bill Yeoman passed away on August 12, 2020, at 92.
Watch the introduction of Bill Yeoman at the 2021 Houston Sports Awards.
Harris County - Houston Sports Authority board member Lyndon Rose helps unveil the plaque for Bill Yeoman with Yeoman's children on the Walk of Fame.
HCHSA board member Lyndon Rose and Bill Yeoman at the 2018 Houston Sports Awards.
The Yeoman Family on the Red Carpet at the 2021 Houston Sports Awards.
Houston Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2021.