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Sept. 21, 2012
By Philip Gruenwald, media relations assistant
View the trailer for "Remember the Titans."
Herman Boone, the football coach portrayed by Academy Award-winner Denzel Washington in the 2000 Disney film “Remember the Titans,” is the first speaker in Northwest Missouri State University’s Student Activities Council “SAC Speaks” series.
Boone will speak at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 25, in the J.W. Jones Student Union Ballroom. The lecture is open to the public, and tickets are free.
“We are a big football campus, so with him being a very famous coach, what better person to bring in?” Erica Martin, SAC’s director of lecture programming, said. “Coach Boone has a message about diversity as well as an inspirational story of going for your goals no matter the circumstances.”
In 1971, Boone was named head coach of the Titans football team at the newly integrated T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, Va. Former rivalries between the merged schools coupled with the strain between the black and white players resulted in a team that was far from united. Tensions only escalated when Boone, an assistant coach at the former T.C. Williams High School, was named head coach of the Titans, passing over Bill Yoast, a local favorite and successful head coach of the former white Hammond High.
The two coaches put aside their prejudices, however, and in doing so they unified their players to form a team with a common vision of respecting each other and winning football games. At the same time, Boone and Yoast helped their small Virginian community put aside their intolerance and join together to support their children. The Titans became one of the best teams in Virginia, compiling a 13-0 record and went on to win the state championship.
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
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Northwest Missouri State University
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