AHA! Got it. Thanks ghoti, that led me to the right place.
Turn on the Ruler (View -> Rulers). Set the Ruler Scale to something like 1in = 1', and the units to feet ('). Now your auto-measured lines will show up in feet and inches.
Note that you can manually edit the Ruler Scale in addition to selecting the presets from the dropdown menu, so if you want 1.5 in = 9.3 yds, you can do that too.