Doug Yoder begins his ninth season as head cross country coach in 2012, presiding as the Leafs' sixth cross country coach in program history. Yoder, a long-time Goshen High School running coach and two-year Goshen College assistant track coach acquired his first opportunity at a collegiate head coaching position with the Leafs' long-distance program.
"You look at distance running philosophically, and it's something that's hard to do, it's time consuming and most other sports use running as a form of punishment," Yoder said. "But in that framework I try to make it fun. I've learned a lot from my own running, and I think athletes can make a lot of connections from the sport to other areas of their lives, such as study habits and decision making."
Yoder began coaching at the college level after 25 years of work in coaching track and cross country at Goshen High School. Yoder was an assistant boys' track coach from 1979-1990 and was the head girls' track coach for the Redskins from 1991-2003. Yoder added girls' head cross country responsibilities in 1992, a position he kept until the fall of 2004. Yoder also directed the Goshen Relays track meet for six years and assisted in the process for seven years, while producing eight straight winning seasons in girls' cross country and qualifying his team for regional and semi-state competition for the last six years. He has had at least one all-state academic performer on his team for the last eight years, and said he hopes to continue the balance of strong running and performance in the classroom at Goshen College.
Yoder runs daily, and has participated in 40 marathons in the last 10 years. He has qualified and ran in the Boston Marathon three times, and said he enjoys running with his athletes during practices. Yoder also took the role of head track and field coach at Goshen College beginning late in the summer of 2010.
Yoder graduated from Goshen College in 1977 with a bachelor's degree in art. He completed his master's degree in art from Ball State University in 1984. He also performed graduate studies at the University of St. Francis and Indiana University. Along with wife Vicki, the couple has three adult children, Kyle, Adam, and Alyssa.