Making New Memories – New Head Football Coach Craig Yeast

Craig Yeast savors the memory.

Oct. 4, 1997. Commonwealth Stadium, Lexington. Overtime against Alabama and a 75-year stretch since the Wildcats have toppled the Crimson Tide. From the 26-yard line, it’s Couch (quarterback Tim Couch) to Yeast. Yeast catches the pass and dashes to the end zone. A 40-34 Wildcat win. Incredible.

Here’s another one.

Nov. 7, 1998. Commonwealth Stadium, Lexington. 8:21 to go against Mississippi State with a one-point lead over the Bulldogs. Couch, in the midst a fall, throws the ball in Yeast’s direction. Yeast makes the catch and a six-yard score. A 37-35 Wildcat victory and bowl eligibility (Outback Bowl) for the first time since 1993 (Peach Bowl). Phenomenal.

Yeast, a Harrodsburg native and UK football star from 1995-1998, arrived at Wesleyan as head football coach in December 2018 after three seasons as offensive coordinator at Indiana’s Franklin College.

“I’m ready to make memories at Wesleyan,” said Yeast, “and as we make them, we are going to win football games and develop men.”

Yeast explained that the football program is being built on seven core principles:

·       Faith
·       Family
·       Fundamentals
·       Fast
·       Fight
·       Finish
·       Fun

“I love coaching,” reflected Yeast. “I get to stay close to the game I love and effect lives in a positive manner. Coaching is my ministry, and I know I have a God-given opportunity to make a difference in the lives of my team members.”

Coach Yeast remarked that football prepares players for life. “You get knocked down, and you get up and play your next play and then move on. You face adversity, and you adapt. You have to work at it.”

He shared that he will emphasize to his players that they must have faith in something greater than themselves – the team – every individual working together and supporting one another.

Yeast said he looks forward to welcoming students as freshmen, encouraging them along the way and then celebrating with them when they graduate. “Their college experience is going to be about a lot more than winning and losing. Wesleyan is going to change their lives – in the classroom and on the field.”

Craig and Tori Yeast have been married for 19 years. They met while in high school. She is the supervisor for insurance services at Kite Realty Group in Indianapolis. Their son, Russ (19), is a sophomore at the University of Louisville, where he is a defensive back on the football team. Daughter Kiyah (16) is a high school junior and track athlete.

“My family is amazing,” said Yeast. “There is nothing I’d rather do than sit down and relax with them or watch our kids compete in sports.”

Yeast is looking forward to getting involved in the College as a whole, not just in the football. “I like The Wesleyan Way, it lines up with what I believe, and I see Wesleyan as a tight-knight community – warm people with a lot of generosity. I’m so glad to be here.”

Wesleyan alumni and friends are invited to join Coach Yeast on our 2019 Football Caravan through Kentucky February 28-March 28. Enjoy an opportunity to visit with the Panthers’ new head coach and Wesleyan alumni and friends while enjoying complimentary appetizers.

For details on tour dates, locations and online registration CLICK HERE.