Legendary Football Coach Herman Boone to Speak
Herman Boone, the inspirational football coach depicted in the Walt Disney production “Remember the Titans,” will speak at 8 p.m. Friday, Oct.19, in Cole Hall at Bridgewater College.
In 1971, racial tensions ran high in Alexandria, Va., as three schools were integrated by court-order to form the T.C. Williams High School.
Boone was named the head coach of the Titans football team at T.C. Williams and Bill Yoast, head coach of the former white Hammond High, became assistant head coach.
The former rivalries between the schools coupled with the strain between the black and white players resulted in a team that was far from united.
Boone and Yoast became role models, putting aside their prejudices, and in doing so unified the players to form a team whose common vision was to respect each other and win football games.
At the same time, the coaches used football to help unite the community and support the children. In December 1971, President Richard M. Nixon was quoted as saying, “the team saved the city of Alexandria.”
The Titans became one of the best teams in Virginia, compiling a 13-0 record and going on to win the state championship.
The U.S. Army All-American Bowl, a game between high-school All-American seniors from the East and West side of the country has honored Boone by naming the trophy The Herman Boone Trophy.
Retired from coaching, Boone is a public speaker who shares his experiences as a football coach at T.C. Williams High School.
He lives in Alexandria, Va., with his wife Carol.
Sponsored by the Anna B. Mow Endowed Lecture Series, the program is open to the public at no charge.