The Office of Social Equity
“The Dream Continues”
2008 Martin Luther King, Jr. Annual Celebration
Herman Boone was the head football coach of the national champion T.C. Williams High School Titans, in which the movie “Remember the Titans” was based on. He helped unify the players to form a team and helped overcome intolerances in the town of Alexandria, Virginia.
Thursday, January 17, 2008
7:00 p.m.- 9:00 p.m.
Free to the public
Herman Boone was head coach of a high school football team that won a state championship in 1971. While there have been thirty more state championships since then, what makes his so special? In 1971, racial tensions ran high in Alexandria, VA, as three schools were newly integrated to form the T.C. Williams High School. It was from this union that the Titan football team was created.
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. Tensions only escalated when Boone, assistant coach of the former black T.C. Williams High School, was named head coach of the Titans, passing over Bill Yoast, the local favorite and successful head coach of the former white Hammond High. Yoast's supporters were angered by Boone's appointment, which was seen as a gesture of goodwill to the black community.
Remarkably, the two coaches were able to put aside their prejudices, and in doing so they unified their players to form a team whose common vision was to respect each other and win football games. At the same time, through the game of football, Boone and Yoast were able to help their small Virginian community put aside their intolerance and join together to support their children. The Titans became one of the best teams in Virginia, compiling a 13-0 record and went on to win the state championship.