Spotlight: Winning is a family tradition for Yeagley


ON WISCONSIN
ON WISCONSIN

ON WISCONSIN

Its safe to say that Todd Yeagley will never forget his first win as a head coach, but neither will the man who is still 543 ahead of him.

The thrilling 1-0 victory Wisconsin scored over Western Illinois at the McClimon Soccer Complex on Sunday made a first-time winner of Yeagley, and it also opened another chapter in a memorable career in collegiate soccer.

Todd has already created his own legacy as a four-time All-American during his years as a player at Indiana, a seven-year stint as a professional player for the Columbus Crew of Major League Soccer and a pair of NCAA championships as an assistant coach for the Hoosiers.

Now, he is leaving his mark in a realm in which the name Yeagley is synonymous with words like champion and dynasty that of collegiate head coach.

It is safe to say that, while Todd has already made a name for himself throughout the years, he has a tough act to follow in his father, Jerry Yeagley.

Jerry coached the Indiana mens soccer team for 30 years, amassing 544 wins and six national championships to earn the distinction of the winningest coach in the history of the college game.

Naturally, when Todd took the first steps in his own coaching career this weekend, Jerry was right there to cheer him on.

It was a thrill for me, Jerry said of Sundays win by the Badgers. Its hard to put into words how I felt when that goal went in. I went up to him after the game and said, `You are undefeated.

Todd has seen his father win hundreds of games as a head coach, but with the Badgers victory on Sunday, the roles were finally reversed.

He has taught me a lot and he is, I think, the best coach to have ever coached college soccer, Todd said. The blueprint that he created, from the small details to the discipline, I take those everyday with me.

Sunday, Jerry couldnt have been more proud as he watched from the stands. When Mark Roos found the back of the net to seal with win with just three seconds left on the clock, Jerry was beaming with emotions.

I am very proud of (Todd) and the team and all of the staff, Jerry said. They are really working hard and I compliment the players for not quitting and hanging in there.

When most teams would just run up the clock for overtime, they fought hard to get that free kick and they deserve the win.

For Todd, the win was something that he knows he will never forget. The ability to apply what his father has taught him in order to build a productive collegiate team was something he has always dreamed of.

This game will stick for me for a long time and will have a special place in my heart, Todd said. The way we did it only makes it that much of a really special thing, so I am really excited.

I think that my father has done a good job of teaching me and putting things in perspective in order to enjoy every moment that we gain. I think thats really what Im trying to do.

I am trying to take each game and enjoy every moment.

Jerry will continue to reside in Bloomington, Ind., but he plans on making plenty of trips to Madison to watch his sons career evolve. He also plans on being dressed for the occasion.

A man who hasnt been comfortable wearing anything other than the letters IU on his cap for nearly four decades, Jerry was sporting a `Wisconsin Soccer hat as he congratulated the Badgers following their win Sunday.

My father is wearing his Wisconsin hat with a lot of pride today, Todd said.

For the Yeagleys, its symbolic of the start of a new tradition.

I had a long history at Indiana and that will always be a special place in my heart, Todd said. But this is what is right for me, and I am enjoying every minute of it.

ON WISCONSIN
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