Bill Yeaman – Builder
A lengthy career in education offered Bill Yeaman the opportunity to be a coach and administrator in basketball, volleyball and football at schools in Kinistino, Birch Hills and Gladmar. Yeaman’s teaching career began in 1979 at Gladmar before transferring to Birch Hills for the next 23 years, primarily as a Physical Education and History teacher. He transferred to Kinistino in 2004 as Vice-Principal where he completed his teaching career as Principal and retired from teaching in 2014.
As an administrator of sport within the Saskatchewan High School Athletic Association, Yeaman held every Executive position available in the North East School Athletic Conference- president, vice-president, secretary and even referee-in-chief. He was the Section 3 representative on the Saskatchewan High School Athletic Association (SHSAA) for 3 terms from 1992 to 1998. In 2006, the North East District nominated Bill for the Saskatchewan High School Athletic Association Merit Award which he received at the Annual General Mee0ng held in Estevan.
Yeaman has a passion for all high school sports, but excelled in coaching basketball. His love for the game started in high school as a Weyburn Eagle where he played basketball and won his first Provincial gold medal in the 3A boys final, hosted by Prince Albert Carlton in 1975. Early in Yeaman‘s coaching career, his teams became noted for their strong skills, their intensity and competitiveness and sportsmanship. It became very important for Yeaman to be competitive and respected by the larger basketball programs in the Province.
Over the years, he established a very strong rivalry with Carlton and St. Mary from Prince Albert. In the 1980’s and mid 1990’s, Yeaman’s teams could successfully compete with any and all of the top 5A basketball teams in the Province. In 1987 and 1988 the Birch Hills Marauders attended a tournament in the United States over the Christmas holidays. Yeaman had tremendous success with the Birch Hills Marauders Boys Basketball teams coaching them to four consecutive SHSAA 2A boys titles from 1984 to 1987 and adding two more championships in 1989 and 1997. One of the many highlights was in 1996 coaching the Marauders in the gold medal game at HOOPLA in the Prince Albert Comuniplex in front of 1000 fans. It was the first time that Carlton and the City of Prince Albert hosted the Provincial basketball finals known as HOOPLA.
In 2004, Yeaman transferred to Kinistino and continued coaching basketball with the girls program. The Kinistino Senior Girls Basketball team enjoyed success as well, winning four Provincial titles from 2006 to 2009 and captured silver medals in 2010, 2011 and a fifth gold in 2012.
Another highlight for Yeaman’s basketball career was working with two other outstanding coaches and great individuals, Darrin Rask, his former player from Birch Hills for 12 years and Tom Hazard in Kinistino for 6 years. To be successful as a coach one has to continually improve their skill set. There was hardly a summer where Yeaman did not instruct at a basketball camp or travel to the United States to attend coaching clinics.
In 1987, Yeaman was an assistant coach with Team Saskatchewan at the Western Canada Summer Games hosted by Regina winning the men’s gold medal. Another two summers of coaching Saskatchewan’s U18 men’s team completed the Provincial basketball journey.
In 35 years of teaching, Yeaman was able to take his teams to HOOPLA twenty one times. In his second season of coaching, he captured his first bronze medal with the Gladmar Senior Boys. Yeaman went on to win 11 gold medals, 4 silvers along with 4 bronze medals.
Yeaman continues to be a leader in the strongest sense of the word as he continues to share his passion and knowledge of sport with athletes, parents, colleagues and officials. He is proud of the relationships that he developed with parents, players, and his fellow coaches who have become lifetime friends. Coaching his own kids, Ashley and Sarah, along with the support of his very knowledgeable wife Brenda, made this coaching journey memorable.
Yeaman continues to be a strong community volunteer in Birch Hills as a coaching mentor at the school, as the Public Address voice for the Birch Hills Marauder’s football team, and the Birch Hills Brewer’s baseball team.