Bill Yeoman, an offensive genius, has died at 92. The former University of Houston coach was the father of the Veer offense and once coached a Cougars team that scored 100 points. In one game.
His son, Bill Jr., said Yeoman died of pneumonia and kidney failure.
Yeoman was hired as head coach at Houston in 1962 after serving as an assistant coach at Michigan State for eight seasons. He led the Cougars until 1986 and was known as the winningest coach in school history.
Coach Bill Yeoman set the standard for success at the University of Houston. His legacy will live on in our program and will stand the test of time.
Our thoughts and prayers are with entire Yeoman family.
— Houston Football (@UHCougarFB) August 12, 2020
The game against Tulsa at the Astrodome was unforgettable. And not because Dr. Phil McGraw was on the Golden Hurricane. Oh, and country music star Larry Gatlin scored a touchdown for the Cougars.
The date was Nov. 23, 1968. The final: Houston 100, Tulsa 6.
“I even know the play I scored on,” Larry Gatlin said in a 1998 interview for the Daily Cougar. “It was 3rd-and-12 on the 26-yard line. I was in the game in place of Elmo (Wright) at wideout on the right side. The play was ’53 R Out.’
Gatlin subbed for Wright because the score was 86-6. It was late in the fourth quarter of what would become the biggest blowout in the modern era of college football.
That made it 93-6. Just went the century mark seemed out of reach, Tulsa punted.
With 30 seconds left in the game, senior Mike Simpson took the boot, broke free and returned it 60 yards for the final TD. The score was now 99-6.
Terry Lieweke hit the PAT, which created issues for the NCAA, which realized its stats programs could not process 100 points in a game. They’d been set up to accept scores up to 99 points.
Houston scored the last 10 times they had the ball. In all, the Cougars scored 14 touchdowns. 13 extra points (Lieweke missed one in the third quarter). And a field goal.
“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.”
Yeoman was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2001.