Herman Boone

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Herman Boone
Boone in January 2008
Born (1935-10-28) October 28, 1935 (age 83)
OccupationHigh school football coach
Spouse(s)Carol Boone

Herman Ike Boone (born October 28, 1935) is a former American high school football coach, most famous for coaching the 1971 T. C. Williams High School football team to a 13–0 season, state championship, and national championship runner-up; the basis for the 2000 film Remember the Titans where Boone was portrayed by Denzel Washington.[1]:117

Early life and education[edit]

Boone attended Abraham Lincoln Elementary School, then the now closed Booker T. Washington High School in Rocky Mount.[2]:104 While attending North Carolina Central University in Durham, North Carolina Boone joined the Tau Psi chapter of the Omega Psi Phi fraternity.[3] Boone graduated from North Carolina Central with both a B.A. and a M.S. degree.[1]:117


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 twenty-six wins, six losses and three district championships.[4]

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".[4]

Having integrated schools in 1965 the city of Alexandria, Virginia consolidated all high school students into T. C. Williams High School in 1971, the same year that Boone arrived to head coach the football program.[5]:69 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.[6] In December 1971, Nixon was quoted as saying of the Titans that "the team saved the city of Alexandria".[7]

Boone was fired from his coaching position in 1979, after allegations of player abuse and related complaints by three assistant coaches.[8][9] He is retired from coaching and now appears as a public speaker at functions regarding his time as a high school football coach at T. C. Williams High School.[10] In 2016, he was awarded the Living Legends of Alexandria award for notable citizens of Alexandria, VA.[11]

Personal life[edit]

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.[11]

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."[12]

In film[edit]

The film Remember the Titans is loosely based on the 1971 T. C. Williams High School football season, where Denzel Washington portrayed Boone .[5]:69


The Herman Boone Trophy is awarded to the winning team of the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, a game between high school All-American seniors.[13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Fleming, Monika S. (2013). Legendary Locals of Edgecombe and Nash Counties, North Carolina. Arcadia. p. 127.
  2. ^ Hilliard Smith, Amanda (June 30, 2014). The Williamston Freedom Movement: A North Carolina Town's Struggle for Civil Rights, 1957-1970. McFarland. p. 220.
  3. ^ "Brother Herman Boone (Tau Psi)". Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Second District. 2017. Retrieved March 21, 2017.
  4. ^ a b Culver, Richard (April 2, 2015). "'Remember the Titans' Coach Boone Speaks at SU Wednesday, April 8". Salisbury University. Retrieved March 21, 2017.
  5. ^ a b Shapiro, Len; Pollin, Andy (December 16, 2008). The Great Book of Washington DC Sports Lists. Running. p. 304.
  6. ^ Real-life coach Herman Boone inspires Cleveland State crowd
  7. ^ "Herman Boone". National Museum of Education Honorary Registry. Retrieved August 28, 2010.
  8. ^ https://deadspin.com/remember-the-titans-is-a-lie-and-this-man-wants-you-to-1609473834
  9. ^ Huff, Donald (June 2, 1979). "Boone Axed At Williams". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 13, 2018.
  10. ^ Public speaker:
    Wagner, Brandon (2002). "Inspirational Coach Herman Boone To Speak at IWU Soul Food Dinner". Illinois Wesleyan University. Retrieved March 21, 2017.
    "56th Biennial Conference" (Fall/Winter). North Carolina Libraries. 2005. Retrieved March 21, 2017.:86
  11. ^ a b Walker James, Donna (November 1, 2016). "Herman Boone". Alexandria News. Retrieved March 21, 2017.
  12. ^ "Celebrating College Football's Racial Pioneers: the Coaches". National Football Foundation. February 25, 2016. Retrieved March 21, 2017.
  13. ^ Today, Wayne (October 8, 2009). "DePaul's Phillips named to All-American Bowl". USA Today. NorthJersey.com. Retrieved March 21, 2017. the Herman Boone Trophy, awarded to the winning team in the prestigious annual Army All-American Bowl

External links[edit]