The event was held in the Grand Ballroom of the Kansas City Convention Center in Kansas City, Mo.
Yelton, who guided Lee to a fourth-straight national title, received the honor for the third time. Three other coaches earned their third award: Paul Ratcliffe (Stanford University/NCAA Division I women), Dr. Jay Martin (Ohio Wesleyan Unviersity/NCAA Division III men) and Scott Frey (Messiah College/NCAA Division III women). Lindsey Wilson’s Ray Wells is a four-time winner of the NAIA award.
The awards were presented for both genders of play at the NCAA, NAIA, NCCAA and junior college collegiate levels, as well as three different divisions of interscholastic play. A Youth National Coach of the Year also was announced, as were Assistant Coaches of the Year at the senior college, junior college and high school levels.
Yelton led his Lady Flames to an unprecedented fourth consecutive NAIA women’s national championship. He receives his third NSCAA National Coach of the Year award in four years, ranking him behind the four awards won by Westmont’s Mike Giuliano. In the past four seasons, Yelton’s teams have posted a record of 90-7-3. He has a record of 202-33-6 in 11 seasons at Lee and 256-73-11 overall.
“I feel very humbled to have won this award but this is not just an award for me,” said Yelton. “It is an award that represents my entire staff and the efforts they put forth in making our program great.
“For me, I know that any success that I have as a coach is directly due to the love and support that I receive from my family; I also know that I am incredibly fortunate to have been able to coach an outstanding group of players who have demonstrated great passion and dedication to make our program what it is today, but most importantly I am thankful for God's grace and blessing that allows me to work in such an amazing place and with wonderful people every day at Lee University, and I give all credit back to him.”
“When I think of all the quality coaches that we compete against in the NAIA I feel extremely fortunate to have been selected for this award. I truly am awed by what we have been able to accomplish at Lee and know that the women who represent our university on the field are the ones who really make us successful in that they go out every day and dedicate themselves to accomplishing great things,” Yelton added.
Earlier, Lee senior forward Jamie Achten was named the NAIA National Player of the Year, helping the Lady Flames sweep the top two national awards. Achten was also the winner of the prestigious Co-SIDA Scholar Athlete of the Year award.