Indiana took down No. 7 Virginia 1-0 in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament on Sunday as Indiana head coach Todd Yeagley earned his 200th career win. The Hoosiers advanced to the Elite Eight, where they'll face the winner of No. 2 Notre Dame and Western Michigan.
“He’s a winner,” senior co-captain Joey Maher said after the match. “That’s why we come here – to be coached by the best in the country.”
Maher admitted that he didn't know that Yeagley was sitting on 199 career wins. It felt as if not many others knew either.
However, the win on Sunday felt sweeter than most. Not only did it push the Hoosiers to their 29th Elite Eight in the 51-year history of the program, but it also came against a program that handed Yeagley a stinging loss as a player.
The final match of Yeagley’s four-year span donning the Cream and Crimson ended the same way as several recent seasons for the Hoosiers: heartbreak in the national championship game. The Hoosiers and Hoos met in the 1994 national championship, resulting in a 1-0 win for Virginia. The Cavaliers secure their fourth consecutive title and fifth overall.
The scoreline between two of college soccer’s blue bloods was the same on Sunday. However, this time the Hoosiers kept the clean sheet. Indiana freshman forward Collins Oduro scored his fifth goal this season just over 10 minutes into the match to provide Indiana the only goal it needed. The backline stepped up to earn just the team's third clean sheet in the last 10 matches.
Senior defender Jansen Miller made two stellar goal-line clearances to preserve the lead in the second half. Indiana withstood Virginia's offensive pressure throughout to earn its second road win in as many weeks against a ranked opponent from the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Yeagley says every win feels good and he tries not to weigh certain wins over others, but it was evident based on his wide smile – something that was rare in the first half of this season – that this win had more significance than many of his previous 199.
Yeagley admitted that the longer one coaches the more accolades he is going to accumulate. However, to obtain that mark in 15 seasons is quite impressive.
Todd Yeagley, the son of the winningest head coach in Big Ten history Jerry Yeagley, started his time as a coach with Wisconsin in 2009. He led the Badgers to seven wins in his lone year in Madison, which was a major improvement from the previous season.
At Indiana, Yeagley has finished over .500 in all but one season with the Hoosiers. The lone season where that wasn’t the case was 2013, when Indiana won the Big Ten Tournament and earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament despite losing four of six conference matches in the regular season. He has collected a quartet of conference coach of the year awards.
It seemed that the 2023 squad was also in jeopardy of missing out on the NCAA tournament, but Yeagley, dubbed by some as “Mr. November,” led Indiana to a sweep of the Big Ten titles. Now the Hoosiers are one of the hottest teams in the country, having won seven straight and 12 of their last 13.
Yeagley would love to earn wins No. 201, 202 and 203 en route to a national championship, which would mark the second of his head coaching career. Indiana won its eighth national championship in 2012.
Indiana will play in the Elite Eight on Friday or Saturday.
Not that the son of “The Godfather” needs any more reason to be considered one of the best coaches in the country, but finishing with a third trophy this season would cement his status as a head coach.