James J. Yeager
James J. Yeager.png
Biographical details
Born(1909-02-02)February 2, 1909
Chase County, Kansas
DiedMay 17, 1971(1971-05-17) (aged 62)
Boulder, Colorado
Playing career
1928–1930Kansas State
Position(s)Defensive lineman, guard
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1935Fort Hays State
1936Iowa State (line)
1937–1940Iowa State
Head coaching record
Accomplishments and honors
1 CIAC (1935)
2 Mountain States (1942–1943)

James J. "Gentleman Jim" Yeager (February 2, 1909 – May 17, 1971) was an American football player and coach. He served as the head football coach at Fort Hays State University (1935), Iowa State University (1937–1940), and the University of Colorado at Boulder (1941–1943, 1946–1947), compiling a career college football record of 48–38–3. Yeager won conference championships in 1935 with Fort Hays State and in 1942 and 1943 with Colorado.

Playing career

Yeager played football as a defensive lineman and guard at Kansas State University from 1928 to 1930 and graduated from the university in 1931.[1]

Coaching career

Fort Hays State

Yeager got his start in coaching as the ninth head football coach for the Fort Hays Tigers located in Hays, Kansas and he held that position for the 1935 season. His record at Fort Hays was 8–2. This ranks him 15th at Fort Hays in total wins and first at Fort Hays in winning percentage.[2] That year, his team was declared the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Conference co-champions.[3]

Iowa State

After his success at Fort Hays, Yeager was named the 16th head coach for the Iowa State University Cyclones located in Ames, Iowa and he held that position for four seasons, from 1937 until 1940. His coaching record at Iowa state was 16–19–1. This ranks him 15th at Iowa state in total wins and 14th at Iowa state in winning percentage[4] His best season came in 1938, when the team produced a record of 7–1–1.


Yeager then returned to success as head coach of the Colorado Buffaloes where he coached five season between 1941 and 1947 with a two-year hiatus in 1944 and 1945. His record there stands at 24–17–2.


Yeager died of an apparent heart attack on May 17, 1971 at the age of 62.[5]

Head coaching record

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
Fort Hays State Tigers (Central Intercollegiate Conference) (1935)
1935 Fort Hays State 8–2 3–1 T–1st
Fort Hays State: 8–2 3–1
Iowa State Cyclones (Big Six Conference) (1937–1940)
1937 Iowa State 3–6 1–4 T–5th
1938 Iowa State 7–1–1 3–1–1 2nd
1939 Iowa State 2–7 1–4 T–4th
1940 Iowa State 4–5 2–3 4th
Iowa State: 16–19–1 7–12–1
Colorado Buffaloes (Mountain States Conference) (1941–1943)
1941 Colorado 3–4–1 3–2–1 T–4th
1942 Colorado 7–2 5–1 T–1st
1943 Colorado 5–2 2–0 1st
Colorado Buffaloes (Mountain States Conference) (1946–1947)
1946 Colorado 5–4–1 3–2–1 T–4th
1947 Colorado 4–5 3–3 T–3rd
Colorado: 24–17–2 16–8–2
Total: 48–38–3
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title or championship game berth


  1. ^ "Coaching Records" (PDF). 2010 Colorado Football Information Guide & Record Book. University of Colorado Buffaloes. p. 129. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 16, 2012. Retrieved November 24, 2010.
  2. ^ Fort Hays State University coaching records Archived May 25, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "Fort Hays Football, 1935". Archived from the original on May 25, 2011. Retrieved March 13, 2008.
  4. ^ Iowa State Coaching Records Archived June 23, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ "Coach Yeager Heart Victim". Bangor Daily News. Associated Press. May 19, 1971. Retrieved November 23, 2010.