Jay Yelton enters his 15th season on the coaching staff at Samford University and his second as the team’s associate head coach. Throughout his time in Homewood, Ala., he has helped guide the Bulldogs to eight regular-season conference championships, four NCAA Tournament appearances and a trio of conference tournament titles.
As one of the top young goalkeeping coaches in the nation, Yelton continually gets the best out of his talent and perennially places the Bulldogs’ defense in the upper echelon of the Southern Region. Last season, Yelton helped guide the Bulldogs to a 15-4-2 overall record, including an 8-1 record in Southern Conference play. Samford earned the regular-season championship, the SoCon Tournament title and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for a fourth time in school history.
The Bulldogs advanced to face Florida State in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament.
In 2015, Samford finished SoCon play with a stellar 8-1 record and earned the regular-season conference championship. The Bulldogs also tallied a significant 2-1 triumph over Wake Forest of the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Additionally, three seasons ago, Samford traveled to Auburn, Ala., and knocked off the 18th-ranked Auburn Tigers, 2-1, in a match broadcasted live to the nation on the SEC Network.
In 2011, Yelton played a huge role in Samford’s undefeated conference season as the Bulldogs registered eight shutout victories and outscored their opponents in league play, 17-5.
Samford’s senior goalkeeper in 2011, Alyssa Whitehead, became the school’s all-time leader in career shutouts and earned her fourth consecutive All-SoCon honor. Under the tutelage of Yelton, Whitehead became one of the most decorated soccer players in Samford history and competed professionally in Sweden.
Yelton worked as a volunteer assistant for a season, before joining the staff full-time in 2004. He was then promoted to the top assistant position in the spring of 2008. In 2015, Yelton was further promoted to associate head coach and has continued to excel in the role.
Yelton is married to the former Graham Holt. The couple has one son, Monroe “Roe”, and resides in Homewood, Ala.