Don Yaeger Biography

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.

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:

  • Hiking through Afghanistan with the Mujahadeen as they fought the Soviets
  • Going into Baghdad with the victorious Iraqi soccer team as the battle between insurgents and the US military waged around them
  • Visiting China in pursuit of underworld characters counterfeiting American golf clubs
  • Heading to Damascus to find the last living terrorist from the 1972 Olympics
  • Living with football legend Walter Payton and his family as Payton was dying
  • Journeying around Europe and the Middle East interviewing Iraqi athletes tortured by Saddam Hussein’s son Uday, chairman of the Iraqi Olympic Committee
  • Traveling with candidates from both parties during presidential campaigns
  • Chronicling the high-profile Duke lacrosse scandal

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:

  • 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 (with Mike Pressler)
  • 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
  • George Washington’s Secret Six: The Spy Ring that Saved the American Revolution (with Brian Kilmeade)
  • November 19, 2013
  • Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates: The Forgotten War that Changed American History (with Brian Kilmeade)
  • November 22, 2015 (Paperback reached #1 in November 2016)
  • Teammate (with David Ross)
  • May 28, 2017
  • Andrew Jackson and the Miracle of New Orleans: The Battle that Shaped America’s Destiny (with Brian Kilmeade)
  • October 24, 2017

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.

Contact a speaker booking agent to check availability on Don Yaeger and other top speakers and celebrities.

Don Yaeger Videos

Don Yaeger | What Makes the Great Teams Great - YouTube
Don Yaeger | The Greatest Players - YouTube

How to book Don Yaeger?

Our booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure talent like Don Yaeger for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment for over 15 years. The team at All American Entertainment represents and listens to the needs of organizations and corporations seeking to hire keynote speakers, celebrities or entertainers. Fill out a booking request form for Don Yaeger, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get pricing information and check availability for Don Yaeger or any other celebrity of your choice.

How much does it cost to book Don Yaeger?

Booking fees for Don Yaeger, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. Pricing often varies according to the circumstances, including the talent's schedule, market conditions, length of presentation, and the location of the event. Speaker fees listed on this website are intended to serve as a guideline only. In some cases, the actual quote may be above or below the stated range. For the most current fee to hire Don Yaeger, please fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak with an experienced booking agent.

Who is the agent for Don Yaeger?

All American Entertainment has successfully secured celebrity talent like Don Yaeger for clients worldwide for more than 15 years. As a full-service talent booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Don Yaeger for your next private or corporate function.

What is a full-service talent booking agency?

All American Speakers is a "buyers agent" and exclusively represents talent buyers, meeting planners and event professionals, who are looking to secure celebrities and speakers for personal appearances, speaking engagements, corporate entertainment, public relations campaigns, commercials, or endorsements. We do not exclusively represent Don Yaeger or claim ourselves as the exclusive booking agency, business manager, publicist, speakers bureau or management for Don Yaeger or any other speaker or celebrity on this website. For more information on how we work and what makes us unique, please read the AAE Advantage.

Don Yaeger is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics . The estimated speaking fee range to book Don Yaeger for your event is $10,000 - $30,000. Don Yaeger generally travels from Tallahassee, FL, USA and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are Viola Davis, Amy Poehler, Amy Schumer, Rashida Jones and Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Don Yaeger for an upcoming event.

Don Yaeger Videos

Don Yaeger | What Makes the Great Teams Great - YouTube
Don Yaeger | The Greatest Players - YouTube

Don Yaeger News

  • Don Yaeger Slated to Speak at Vitality 2015

    Everything we do and stand for here at Vi is building up to one momentous event—Vitality. This year we’re excited to announce business leadership coach and eight-time New York Times Best selling author Don Yaeger as our keynote speaker.

  • Don Yaeger shares characteristics of greatness in new book

    Don Yaeger has spent many years in the world of professional sports interviewing legendary athletes. He has written 22 books from his experiences and recently wrote another called "Greatness: The 16 Characteristics of True Champions."

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Speakers Similar to Don Yaeger

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