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Thursday, April 2, 2015

'Remember the Titans' Coach Boone Speaks at SU Wednesday, April 8

Herman BooneSALISBURY, MD---For Coach Herman Boone, Remember the Titans is not just the name of a movie; it’s something he does every day.

Boone, portrayed by Denzel Washington in the 2000 hit Disney film about the 1971 integration of a Virginia High School football team, shares his memories 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 8, at Salisbury University. His presentation is in Holloway Hall Auditorium.

He began his coaching career at Luther H. Foster High School in Blackstone, VA, in 1958, overseeing its football, basketball and baseball teams. Three years later, he returned to his home state of North Carolina to accept a football coaching position at E.J. Hayes High School in Williamston. The team was ranked No. 1 in the nation by Scholastic Coach and Athletic Director magazine in 1966.

Advancing through the ranks, he was told in 1969 that the town was not ready to accept an African-American head coach and dismissed. That same year, he took an assistant football coaching job at T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, VA.

In 1971, the first year of consolidation within Alexandria City Public Schools, he was promoted to head coach of the T.C. Williams Titans over Bill Yoast, a popular Caucasian coach with several years’ seniority and a citywide following. Battling through the issues that followed, Boone solidified the team into a squad ranked second in the United States by national polls.

At the same time, Boone and Yoast’s leadership and the team’s success in becoming that year’s state champions helped bring together a city torn apart by prejudice — a role praised by President Richard Nixon, among others.

Sponsored by the Student Organization for Activity Planning, admission is free and the public is invited. For more information call 410-543-6030 or visit the SU website at www.salisbury.edu.


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