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Capitol City Speakers Bureau 
Featured Speaker
Don Yaeger, CSP
Florida
 
Don Yaeger

Few can lay claim to as exciting and colorful a career as Don Yaeger. As an award-winning keynote speaker, business leadership coach, an eight-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. Additionally, Don has been retained by companies and organizations to coach their leaders, management teams and employees on building a culture of greatness by looking at Great Teams in sports and discerning the business lessons we can learn from them. 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. Since that time, he has penned 23 more books, including 9 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.

He has traveled the world in pursuit of stories as diverse as:

  • Walking into 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
  • Roaming 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 campaign

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. He took an early retirement from full-time work at SI in 2008 and 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, 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.

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  • What Makes the Great Ones Great - As a sports writer and author of more than a dozen books, Don has had a front row seat with some of the greatest winners in athletics, including Walter Payton, Jimmy Connors, Michael Jordan, John Wooden, Pat Riley and Dale Brown. They are all legends in their own right, but does anyone believe the athletes mentioned above are really the GREATEST athletes of their time, physically? Remember, Jordan wasn't even the first pick in the draft. Payton had to go to a small black college because bigger schools didn't want to risk a scholarship on him. Each became a champion through strength and skills that had nothing to do with physical prowess. Using rich personal accounts gathered from more than twenty years of interviews with many of today's sports legends and business leaders, Don has distilled Sixteen Consistent Characteristics of Greatness. Don shares some of these characteristics with audiences, in an easy, engaging style, which helps participants realize that they, too, can achieve a higher level of personal success.

  • What Makes the Great Teams Great - The Great Teams Understand "The Why." They are connected to a Greater purpose. Learn how to constantly remind your players and employees of who they are in service of while being acutely aware of downstream beneficiaries. The more a company creates "mission moments" for employees and team members to understand that Greater purpose, the better off the team will be when it comes to enduring any challenges along the way to achieving its goal. In this captivating session, Don Yaeger shares his findings from interviews with Olympic Gold Medal winners like USA Basketball Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski (Coach K), 2014 NBA Most Valuable Player Kevin Durant, and USA Basketball CEO Jerry Colangelo, as well as 4-Time Super Bowl champion quarterback Tom Brady, brilliant thought-leader Simon Sinek and longtime Medtronic CEO Bill George.
Great Teams Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates Beating Goliath George Washington's Secret Six Any Given Monday
Great Teams: 16 Things High Performing Organizations Do Differently Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates: The Forgotten War That Changed American History Beating Goliath: My Story of Football and Faith George Washington's Secret Six: The Spy Ring That Saved the American Revolution Any Given Monday: Sports Injuries and How to Prevent Them for Athletes, Parents, and Coaches - Based on My Life in Sports Medicine Hardcover


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