Mercer’s Yeast named Area Coach of the Year

Published 9:03 am Friday, November 24, 2023


Contributing Writer

Year two was one to remember for Craig Yeast.

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In his second season as coach in his hometown, Yeast led Mercer County to heights not seen in a number of years.

Yeast was voted The Advocate-Messenger 2022 Area Coach of the Year after the Titans won 10 games and a district championship.

“I’m so happy for our team that words cannot express how proud I am of them and what they accomplished,” Yeast said. “Our coaches are excellent and our players worked extremely hard and bought into what we were asking them to do and their hard work paid off.”

Mercer won its first district championship since 2015 and reached 10 wins for the first time since 2006 – and only the fourth time ever.

The Titans doubled their win total from Yeast’s first season and were ranked as high as No. 8 in Class 3A in the statewide media poll. They began this season with a 38-22 victory over Taylor County, which was ranked in the top 10 in Class 4A for much of the season, and won three more games before a loss to Southwestern.

They closed the regular season with five consecutive wins and won District 3A-4 by outscoring their three district opponents by a combined score of 118-41.

They defeated LaRue County in the first round of the Class 3A playoffs before losing to Central in the second round to finish 10-2.

“Winning 10 games and a district championship are great accomplishments for our players, coaches, and community,” Yeast said. “Though our season didn’t end the way we wanted, we all should celebrate our seniors and our team for all they have done to bring excitement for football back to our town.”

Yeast, a 1995 Harrodsburg graduate and one of the most accomplished athletes to come out of Harrodsburg, returned to his hometown to take over the Mercer program in 2022 after 14 years as a high school and college coach in three states.

He is the first Mercer coach to win the Area Coach of the Year award determined through balloting of local coaches since 2019.

But he said while this has been a season worth celebrating, he wants it to be a springboard for more good years to come.

“We have built the foundation to what we want our culture to be moving forward,” Yeast said.