Legendary Yeoman honored at Fan Appreciation Day
UH unveiled a statue of former Cougar football head coach Bill Yeoman as part of Fan Appreciation Day at TDECU Stadium Sunday afternoon.
“It was a no-brainer to have coach Yeoman represent us, he defines the history and rich tradition of Houston football,” Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Hunter Yurachek said. “As you build a new football stadium like this, you want to display that history and he is that history.”
Yeoman coached the Cougars from 1962 to 1986 and left an undeniable mark on the program, elevating it from relative obscurity to national prominence during his distinguished 25-year tenure.
The former great is still the winningest coach in school history, guiding his teams to 160 wins, 17 winning seasons, four Southwest Conference championships, 11 bowl game appearances, and a 6-4-1 mark in postseason competition.
Well known as an innovator on the field, Yeoman’s greatest legacy may be the invention of the Veer Offense, a scheme that had a tremendous impact not only in the SWC but also the entire college football landscape.
Yeoman additionally played a prominent role in the racial integration of collegiate athletics when he became the first head football coach in a major Texas program to give a scholarship to an African-American player as Warren McVea joined the Cougars in 1964.
Following his coaching career, Yeoman was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame, the Southwest Conference Hall of Honor and the Southwestern Bell Cotton Bowl Hall of Fame, but he said that having the new statue dedicated to him was a wonderful thing and an unforgettable tribute.
“It is a staggering honor to have this kind of recognition, and particularly when you had so much fun doing it,” Yeoman said.
After the dedication ceremony, fans were treated to photo and autograph sessions with Yeoman himself, current head coach Tom Herman and various other members of the Houston Football, Soccer and Volleyball programs.
Well over a hundred fans endured the sweltering heat to witness Yeoman be immortalized as the ode to UH’s history now marks the entrance to the place where its future will be decided.
“He’s a legend, he’s a Hall-of-Famer and he’s ours,” Herman said. “He’s one of us, which is really, really neat and if I could, we’d build eight statues of him because that’s how much I feel about him.”