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Author | Leadership | Management | Motivation | Personal Development
As an award-winning keynote speaker, business leadership coach, a seven-time New York Times Best-selling author and longtime Associate Editor for Sports Illustrated, Don Yaeger has fashioned a career as one of America’s most provocative thought leaders. As a speaker, he has worked with audiences as diverse as Fortune 500 companies and cancer survivor groups, where he shares his personal story.
Don Yaeger began his career as a reporter for the San Antonio Light where he rose through the ranks to pen investigative features for the daily. He later moved on to the Dallas Morning News. Following his stint in Dallas, Yaeger worked as a political editor for the Florida Times-Union.
After four years, he decided to dedicate himself to the pursuit of writing books. Yaeger’s first book, Undue Process: The NCAA’s Injustice For All, was published in 1990. In the 22 years since, he has penned 23 more books, including seven New York Times Best-sellers. His Best-sellers (and their debut date on the Times list) are:Under the Tarnished Dome: How Notre Dame Betrayed its Ideals for Football Glory, October 3, 1993; Never Die Easy: The Autobiography of Walter Payton, October 1, 2000; Ya Gotta Believe: My Roller-Coaster Life As a Screwball Pitcher, Part-Time Father and My Hope-Filled Fight Against Brain Cancer with Tug McGraw March 7, 2004; It's Not About the Truth: The Untold Story of the Duke Lacrosse Case and the Lives It Shattered, July 7, 2007; I Beat the Odds: From Homelessness, to the Blind Side, and Beyond with Michael Oher, February 27, 2011; Play Like You Mean It: Passion, Laugh, and Leadership in the World's Most Beautiful Game with Rex Ryan, May 22, 2011; Nothing to Lose, Everything to Gain: How I Went from Gang Member to Multimillionaire Entrepreneur with Ryan Blair, August 21, 2011 and A Game Plan For Life, with legendary coach John Wooden. It was published on Coach’s 99th birthday in October 2009.
Movie rights to both the Duke book and Turning of The Tide, a book about a 1970 football game between the last all-white team at the University of Alabama and the fully-integrated team from the University of Southern California, have recently been sold.
After several years of freelancing for Sports Illustrated, Don joined the magazine’s staff full-time in July 1996. Two years later he was promoted to Associate Editor, where his work was to cover not just sporting events but the off-the-field happenings which affect the world of sports. He took an early retirement from full-time work at SI in 2008 and continues to freelance for the magazine.
Don Yaeger and his co-author William Nack were finalists for a 2000 National Magazine Award in the public interest category for their cover story “Who’s Coaching Your Kid?: The frightening truth about child molestation in youth sports.” This important piece triggered follow-up reports by programs such as Dateline, 20/20 and The Oprah Winfrey Show. It also resulted in changes to the law in several states and several youth sports organizations, including Little League of America, changed rules to require background checks of coaches and volunteers.
Born and raised in Hawaii, Yaeger has traveled extensively. The Dominican Republic, Honduras, Japan and Great Britain can be counted among the countries in which he has resided. A 1984 graduate of Ball State University, Don Yaeger currently lives in Tallahassee, FL. He also owns a political consulting business and a public relations firm. He and his wife Jeanette have a son and a daughter.
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