fb-pixel Skip to main content

Bill Yeoman, who coached Houston for 25 seasons, at 92

Mr. Yeoman, seen at Houston’s Robertson Stadium in 2012, led Houston to a winning record in 17 of his 25 seasons.Smiley N. Pool/Houston Chronicle via Associated Press/File 2012/Houston Chronicle via AP

HOUSTON — Bill Yeoman, the longtime Houston football coach who led the Cougars to four Southwest Conference titles and a school-record 160 victories, has died. He was 92.

The university announced the death Wednesday without providing details. Son, Bill Jr., told ESPN his father died of pneumonia and kidney failure.

The school’s first inductee into the College Football Hall of Fame, Mr. Yeoman coached the Cougars from 1962 to 1986. In 1964, he signed running back Warren McVea as the school’s first Black football player.

A lineman and team captain at Army, Mr. Yeoman was known for the veer offense that helped the Cougars lead the nation in total offense from 1966 to 1968.


“Coach Yeoman was a leader and visionary in our game,” current Houston coach Dana Holgorsen said. “Not only was he a Hall of Fame coach, but also he brought our program to national prominence during his tenure. His legacy will live on in our program and will stand the test of time.”

Mr. Yeoman led Houston to 11 bowls and a winning record in 17 of his 25 seasons. His teams finished ranked 11 times, including in 1976 when the team ended the season No. 4 in The Associated Press poll.

He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2001 and was also in the Southwest Conference Hall of Honor and the Cotton Bowl Hall of Fame, and won the Paul Bear Bryant Lifetime Achievement Award in 2002.

“For three decades, coach Yeoman worked tirelessly to build the foundation and set the standard for success at the University of Houston,’’ Houston athletic director Chris Pezman said. “He was one of the most innovative minds in the history of the sport, securing his place in the College Football Hall of Fame. Coach Yeoman will always be beloved by his players and dedicated his life to helping them succeed on and off the playing field.’’