Legendary football coach Herman Bone has died at the age of 84. at his home in Alexandria, Virginia, WUSA9 reports. Boone was the inspiration behind Denzel Washington’s character in the film Remember the Titans.
According to ESPN, Boone led T.C. Williams High School to an undefeated season (13-0) and state championship in 1971. He was also the school’s first African-American head coach after the schools in the area became integrated.
“I think that’s the formula for race relations throughout the world. People have to learn to talk to one another,” Boone told the Washington Post while reflecting on how challenging being a coach was. “You have to learn to talk to that individual, and when you talk to that individual, you learn to trust that individual, and that’s the greatest gift God gave to man.”
In 2004, Boone was inducted into the Hall of Fame at North Carolina Central University. He earned two degrees from the institution. Their new media room was named in his honor.
His friends and colleagues remembered the influence that he had on his community. “He touched many lives and hearts across the world. He was inspirational for so many people, including me as one of his former students,” Dr. Gregory C. Hutchings Jr., the Alexandria City superintendent of schools, said in a statement. “Alexandria City Public Schools was fortunate to have him as an icon at such a critical time in our history. He will be dearly missed.”
Disney’s Remember The Titans starred Wood Harris, Ryan Gosling, Ryan Hurst, and the aforementioned Washington. The movie earned $136 million globally. The film showed Boone’s battle with racism in the newly integrated city. He had to overcome vindictive opponents, racist coaches, and cheating referees.
We would like to send our deepest condolences to Boone’s family and friends.