Meet Don Yaeger

Meet Don Yaeger

Award winning leadership speaker, long-time Sports Illustrated associate editor, 9-time New York Times Best-Selling Author.

About Don Yaeger

Few can lay claim to as exciting and colorful a career as Don Yaeger.

Don Yaeger is a nationally acclaimed inspirational speaker, longtime Associate Editor of Sports Illustrated, and author of over 30 books, eleven of which have become New York Times Best-sellers. He began his career at the San Antonio Light in Texas, and also worked at the Dallas Morning News and the Florida Times-Union in Jacksonville before going to work for Sports Illustrated.

  • Don, And His Wife Jeanette, With Michael Jordan

    Don, And His Wife Jeanette, With Michael Jordan

  • Don with Tim McGraw

    Don with Tim McGraw

  • Don with Larry King

    Don with Larry King

  • Don with Snoop Dogg

    Don with Snoop Dogg

  • Don with Michael Irvin

    Don with Michael Irvin

  • Don With Jerry Rice

    Don With Jerry Rice

  • Don with Oprah Winfrey

    Don with Oprah Winfrey

  • Don with Donald Trump

    Don with Donald Trump

  • Don with Michael Irvin

    Don with Michael Irvin

  • Don with Shaquille O'Neal

    Don with Shaquille O'Neal

  • Don with Michael Johnson

    Don with Michael Johnson

  • Don With David Ross

    Don With David Ross

  • Don With DIck Vitale

    Don With DIck Vitale

  • Don With John Maxwell

    Don With John Maxwell

  • Don with Jerome Bettis

    Don with Jerome Bettis

  • Don receiving the Key to the city of Las Vegas

    Don receiving the Key to the city of Las Vegas

  • Don with Annika Sörenstam

    Don with Annika Sörenstam

  • Don with Sam Bradford

    Don with Sam Bradford

  • Don with Faith Hill

    Don with Faith Hill

  • Don with John McCain

    Don with John McCain

  • Don with Michael Jordan

    Don with Michael Jordan

  • Don with Shaquille O'Neal

    Don with Shaquille O'Neal

  • Don With Will And Brian Kilmeade

    Don With Will And Brian Kilmeade

  • Don with Condoleezza Rice

    Don with Condoleezza Rice

  • Don with John Wooden

    Don with John Wooden

  • Don with Michael Johnson

    Don with Michael Johnson

  • Don with Rex Ryan

    Don with Rex Ryan

  • Don With Carl Lewis

    Don With Carl Lewis

  • Don with Dale Brown

    Don with Dale Brown

  • Don With His Son Will Yaeger And Brian Kilmeade

    Don With His Son Will Yaeger And Brian Kilmeade

  • Don With John Wooden

    Don With John Wooden

  • Don with Anthony Davis

    Don with Anthony Davis

  • Don with Zig Ziglar

    Don with Zig Ziglar

  • Don Going One On One With Michael Jordan!

    Don Going One On One With Michael Jordan!

As an author, Don has written books with, among others, Hall of Fame running back Walter Payton, UCLA basketball Coach John Wooden, baseball legends John Smoltz and Tug McGraw, and football stars Warrick Dunn and Michael Oher (featured in the movie The Blind Side). He teamed with Fox News anchor Brian Kilmeade to pen the 2013 best-seller George Washington’s Secret Six, a look at the citizen spy ring that helped win the Revolutionary War and then again in 2015 for Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates: The Forgotten War that Changed American History, and in 2017 for Andrew Jackson and the Miracle of New Orleans: The Battle that Shaped America’s Destiny.

Don left Sports Illustrated in 2008 to pursue a public speaking career that has allowed him to share stories learned from the greatest winners of our generation with audiences as diverse as Fortune 10 companies to cancer survivor groups, where he shares his personal story. More than a quarter-million people have heard his talks on “What Makes the Great Ones Great.” He collaborated with the Florida State University School of Business’s Continuing Education Program to build a corporate webinar program focusing on lessons building a culture of success within an organization. This naturally led to another keynote speech on “What Makes the Great Teams Great.” The release of his tenth New York Times best-seller, Teammate, was the inspiration for his newest keynote on “What Makes a Great Teammate: Becoming Invaluable Without Being Most Valuable.”

Throughout his writing career, Don has developed a reputation as a world-class storyteller and has been invited as a guest to every major talk show – from Oprah to Nightline, from CNN to Good Morning America.

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 30+ more books, including 11 New York Times Best-sellers.

Don also wrote A Game Plan For Life, with legendary coach John Wooden. It was published on Coach’s 99th birthday in October 2009.

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.

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, 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.

Some of the Winning Teams Don Yaeger works with


DELL
Chevron
Microsoft
Hewlett Packard
BROCADE