Hall of Fame football coach Bill Yeoman, known as the father of the Veer offense at the University of Houston, died Wednesday. He was 92.
Yeoman, who won 160 games and four Southwest Conference championships during his 25-year career at Houston, died at an assisted living facility in Houston, his son, Bill Yeoman Jr., told the Houston Chronicle.
Yeoman led the Cougars to 11 bowl appearances between 1962 and 1986. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2001.
Yeoman played a big role in the integration of college sports, becoming the first football coach at a major Texas program to offer a scholarship to an African American when he signed Warren McVea in 1964, the Chronicle reported.
“The biggest one, really and truly, is he integrated sports in the South,” Yeoman Jr. told the newspaper. “That’s the big one. He didn’t know he was going (to do) the big one. He and Mom always just did what was logical or right.”
Yeoman played his freshman year at Texas A&M, then received an appointment to West Point. He played center for Army from 1946 to 1948, according to his biography. After serving in the Army from 1950 to 1953, Yeoman worked as an assistant coach at Michigan State University.
After arriving at Houston, Yeoman invented the Veer offense. The triple-option attack is similar to the wishbone, and Yeoman’s offensive wrinkle allowed the Cougars to lead the nation in total offense for three straight seasons, averaging 42.5 points per game and a then-record 562 yards per game in 1968.
The Cougars’ most celebrated victory was a 100-6 win against Tulsa in 1968.
“Coach Yeoman was a leader and visionary in our game,” current Houston coach Dana Holgorsen said in a statement. “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. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, former players and coaches.”