He was a one-time mayor of Lexington, Kentucky. Yancey attended Transylvania University (then Kentucky University). Yancey was a second-team All-Southern fullback on the football team. He played baseball in the minor leagues for several teams.
He went on to coach the Kentucky University Pioneers from 1907 - 1908 compiling a 4-7-3 record. He also served as Kentucky University as AD from 1907 - 1909.