Alumni Association Feature 4: Yvette McKinney

Sydney Campbell, Design Editor

From the very beginning, Yvette McKinney’s love for sports was inevitable. Throughout middle school, she played volleyball, softball, basketball and badminton. She carried these same sports with her to high school and throughout college. 

This love of sports helped her grow up to become the first black female athletic director in Dade-County. Apprenticing as the assistant athletic director (AD) for three years under Wayne Taylor, McKinney eventually worked her way up to head AD. This transition took place when Taylor got a promotion and asked McKinney to turn in her resume.

 Mckinney claims her success as the first black female AD was because of the motivation she garnered from her faith. Making sure she was on top of the newest rules and regulations also made her feel confident in what she did. 

“I grew up in a time when males did not want women to be in charge,” McKinney said. “My high school coach was the first woman athletic director.” 

Th chauvinism did not faze McKinney and although she did not originally have any vision of becoming an AD, McKinney held that title for 29 years. 

“I had opportunities from other schools in Dade County and from colleges but I turned them down because I knew I was in the right place,” McKinney said. “And that was the best professional decision I have ever made.”

From the very beginning, her loyalty remained with her “home away from home” and with the family that she was a part of at Palmetto.

“I have student-athletes who are now 30 years old and still keep in contact with me,” Mckinney said. “Although they’re grown now, they’ll always be my kids.”

Mckinney had an amazing 40 years at Palmetto as a teacher, athletic director and coach. She feels she was “very fortunate to have such amazing principles who held the school together ” in the time that she was there. She is also proud of the strives Palmetto has made. 

“They say it’s not a job if you enjoy what you’re doing. And for me, Palmetto wasn’t work because I enjoyed going. I truly enjoyed Palmetto.” McKinney said.