Speaking to the World
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Associate Editor for Sports Illustrated & Business Leadership Coach
As an award-winning keynote speaker, business leadership coach, eleven-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. Read More >
He is primarily sought to discuss lessons on achieving greatness, learned from first-hand experiences with some of the greatest sports legends in the world. He is also often retained by companies and organizations to coach their leaders, management teams, and employees on building a culture of greatness by studying great teams in sports and discerning the business lessons we can learn from them.
Additionally, as an Executive Coach, Yaeger has worked with a range of leaders from the president of the largest bank in the Caribbean to CEOs of financial services companies to technology executives. His coaching model is based on years of experience and study with those who have inspired championship-level teams.
Throughout his writing career, Don has developed a reputation as a world-class storyteller and has been invited as a guest to almost every major talk show – from The Oprah Winfrey Show to Nightline, from CNN to Good Morning America.
Few journalists can lay claim to as exciting and colorful a career as Don Yaeger.
In the three decades since he accepted his first newspaper job in Texas, the breadth of his assignments has been astounding. He has traveled the world in pursuit of stories as diverse as:
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 time 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 nearly 30 years since, he has penned 28 more books, including eleven New York Times best-sellers, including:
Yaeger also wrote A Game Plan For Life, with legendary coach John Wooden. It was published on Coach’s 99th birthday in October 2009.
Movie rights to four of Yaeger’s books have been sold, with two slated for nationwide release in 2019.
After several years of freelancing for Sports Illustrated, Yaeger joined the magazine’s staff full-time in July 1996. Two years later, he was promoted to Associate Editor where his job was to cover not just sporting events but also the off-the-field happenings that affect the world of sports. He took an early retirement from full-time work at SI in 2008, but continues to freelance for the magazine.
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, which changed rules to require background checks of coaches and volunteers.
Born and raised in Hawaii, Yaeger has traveled extensively and lived abroad in the Dominican Republic, Honduras, Japan and Great Britain. A 1984 graduate of Ball State University, 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. Read Less ^
Don tells unheard stories of awe-inspiring moments with Michael Jordan, Warrick Dunn, John Wooden and Walter Payton. Each story representing a Characteristic of Greatness.
Experience one of this program's most powerful lessons, delivered to your team live. This presentation will inspire your team to dig deep into understanding their "WHY", and one step closer to building a culture of greatness.
Don shares what it means to be a great teammate, and how each member of your team can strive to attain such an important title in this live keynote presentation.
“Don Yaeger was amazing. The stories that he had to make his points were so inspirational to me and gave me some great ideas on how to motivate my staff.”
“Your talks truly helped our guests walk away inspired, and helped the events be wildly popular with our volunteers, donors and sponsors.”
“Your delivery of a second presentation was timely, and the message clearly resonated with the pharmacists, residents, technicians and students.”
“If you are looking for a dynamic, engaging speaker for your event, you should hire Don Yaeger, Speaker of Champions. He will truly be a highlight of your event.”
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