Boone in January 2008
October 28, 1935 |
Rocky Mount, North Carolina, USA
|Occupation||High school football coach|
Herman Boone (born October 28, 1935) is a former American high school football coach, most famous for coaching at T. C. Williams High School in Alexandria, Virginia. Boone was portrayed by Denzel Washington in the 2000 film Remember the Titans.
Boone attended the Abraham Lincoln Elementary School, then the now closed Booker T. Washington High School in Rocky Mount and graduated from North Carolina Central University in Durham, North Carolina, where, in 1958, he received his B.A. and M.S. degrees.
After college, Boone decided to become a teacher and coach, so that he might motivate other youngsters, as he had been early in his childhood. In 1958, Herman accepted his first teaching and coaching position at the Luther H. Foster High School in Blackstone, Virginia, where he coached football, basketball and baseball. His teams recorded impressive results with twenty-six wins, six losses and three district championships.
In 1961, Herman fulfilled his strong desire to return to his home state of North Carolina to continue his coaching and teaching career. He accepted a coaching position at the E.J. Hayes High School in Williamston, North Carolina. His football teams amassed a record of 99 wins and 8 losses in a nine-year period. His 1966 football team was recognized by Scholastic Coach’s Magazine as “The Number One Football Team in America”. In 1969, Boone was fired from his position, informed by the Williamston school board that the town of Williamston “was not ready for a black head coach”.
In 1971, the city of Alexandria, Virginia decided to totally integrate its school system and appointed Herman as its first consolidated head football coach at T.C. Williams High School over a white coach Bill Yoast with several years seniority and a steadfast citywide following. Remarkably, Herman was able to pull together and solidify a diverse coaching staff and an unfocused group of young boys into one of the most powerful football teams in the state of Virginia, winning the 1971 Virginia State Championship. This team was ranked second in the nation by national polls. The willingness of these young men to talk to each other, along with their determination to win, brought together a city torn apart by prejudice and hatred.
|“||Diverse unfocused boys who were unwilling to talk to each other, broke the mold in the state of Virginia because they found a way to accept their teammates as equals at a time when it was neither popular or in many cases safe. That brave mentality started them on a journey of a lifetime and once they decided to become a team, they battled under extreme circumstances until reaching the pinnacle of high school football, a State Title.||”|
—Herman Boone, Speech to Providence College
After the Gettysburg camp where the team members learn to know each other, President Richard Nixon sent an aide, Dr. Brown, to see this integrated football team that was beginning to catch national attention. In December 1971, President Richard M. Nixon was quoted as saying, “the team saved the city of Alexandria”.
Herman has been selected coach of the year six times and is the author of many articles for several national magazines.
|“||A team is defined as a unit. There is no team strength or weakness without 11 pulling together. Our strength is as a team and our weakness is as a team.||”|
—Herman Boone, Interview with The Free Lance-Star - Aug 2, 1974
Boone currently lives with his wife Carol in Alexandria, Virginia. They have three daughters, Sharron, Donna & Monica and three grandchildren Mackenzie, Myles and Lauren.
Coach Boone is a good friend of Coach Willie Jeffries, that has been in progress dating back to when the two were assistant coaches in North Carolina. Coach Boone wrote a letter of recommendation in support of Jeffries' induction into the College Football Hall of Fame. In it, Boone wrote, "Without his leadership and example, there would not have been Remember the Titans or the advancement in race relations in sports that we have witnessed."
The U.S. Army All-American Bowl, which is a game between high school All-American seniors from the East and West side of the country, has an award named after him, The Herman Boone Trophy, given to the team who wins the game.
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Herman Boone|
- video: Coach Herman Boone Speaks to Providence College, Addresses Diversity
- Real-life coach Herman Boone inspires Cleveland State crowd
- "Herman Boone". National Museum of Education Honorary Registry. Retrieved 28 August 2010.
- The Free Lance-Star
- Herman Boone: The Rest of the Story
- NCLA 56th Biennial Conference
- Herman Boone Trophy