ALEXANDRIA, Va. (WJLA) - Herman Boone, the legendary T.C. Williams High School football coach portrayed by Denzel Washington in "Remember the Titans" has died.
Boone was one of the coaches of the Alexandria school's 1971 state championship-winning football team, the integrated group of players immortalized by the Disney movie.
According to Alexandria City Public Schools, Coach Boone "took the position at T.C. Williams when he was told that the town of Williamston in North Carolina was not ready for a black head coach."
Bill Yoast, already known as a legendary coach at the all-white Francis C. Hammond High School, was the defensive coach for the team.
The two "put aside personal pride and pulled together to solidify a diverse coaching staff and team into the most successful team in the state in 1971," the school system says. The team won the state championship that year.
"It was not easy," Boone told ACPS earlier this year, after Yoast died. "People were not accepting integration. But you could see it in Bill Yoast. You can’t fake believing. You can lie about things, but you cannot fake your beliefs. Bill was not going to allow racial differences to exist in this city. He and I found a way to talk to each other and trust each other.”
This year marked the 65th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Brown vs. Board of Education decision, which required school districts to integrate. Alexandria’s efforts to integrate were delayed for five years, according to ACPS, by the Commonwealth's "Massive Resistance" campaign.