Boone in January 2008
October 28, 1935 |
Rocky Mount, North Carolina
|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.
Early life and education
Boone attended 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 returned 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 consolidate 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.
After the Gettysburg camp where the team members got 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, Nixon was quoted as saying of the Titans that "the team saved the city of Alexandria".
Boone has been selected coach of the year six times and is the author of many articles for several national magazines.
Retired from coaching, Boone enjoys a career as a public speaker at functions regarding his time as a high school football coach at T. C. Williams High School. In 2016 he was awarded the Living Legends of Alexandria award for notable citizens of Alexandria, VA.
Boone currently lives with his wife, Carol, in Alexandria, Virginia. They have three daughters, Sharron, Donna, and Monica, and three grandchildren, Mackenzie, Myles, and Lauren.
Boone is a friend of Willie Jeffries, dating back to when the two were assistant coaches in North Carolina. 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."
Many of the details in the movie have come under scrutiny by former players regarding the accuracy and portrayal of Coach Boone. 
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Herman Boone|
- Real-life coach Herman Boone inspires Cleveland State crowd
- "Herman Boone". National Museum of Education Honorary Registry. Retrieved 28 August 2010.
- on YouTube
- NCLA 56th Biennial Conference
- Herman Boone Trophy