ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Herman Boone, the legendary T.C. Williams High School football coach portrayed by Denzel Washington in the film “Remember the Titans” has died at age 84.
The coach will be forever remembered for leading a team of white and black football players during the integration of Alexandria’s high schools. His persona as an assertive, rallying force was immortalized in the Disney movie from 2000.
Boone was one of the coaches of the Alexandria school’s 1971 state championship-winning football team, the integrated group of players memorialized in the film. He became the school’s first African-American coach the same year that Alexandria consolidated all high schools.
That year, the T.C. Williams football team went undefeated, winning the Virginia state championship and was national title-runner up.
“He touched many lives and hearts across the world. He was insqpirational for so many people, including me as one of his former students,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Gregory C. Hutchings, Jr. said. “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.”
Boone’s former players remembered him as someone who demanded attention.
“He didn’t need to say anything. He just looked at you and that look said it all,” said Wayne Sanders, a running back for the 1971 Titans. “There was no denial in what he was saying. He meant what he said, and he said what he meant.”
“He was there to teach, to lead, to guide and prepare young men to go out into the world and do great things,” Sanders said in a school district statement.
The football team’s booster club announced Wednesday on Twitter of Boone’s passing.
Boone was a father of three. He is survived by two daughters. His wife of 57 years, Carol, passed away in March.
It has been a tough year for the T.C. Williams community as other members of the legendary team also died.
In May 2019, William “Bill” Yoast, another former high school coach portrayed in the movie died at age 94 at an assisted living facility in Springfield. Yoast was the head coach at the all-white Francis C. Hammond High School before he became defensive coach at T.C. Williams.
Yoast’s death comes just a few months after the passing of Julius Campbell, a key player from the T.C. Williams squad. Yoast, portrayed by Wood Harris in the movie, died in January at the age of 65.
Campbell was born Dec. 5, 1953, and was the second of five children. He was survived by his wife Cathy Campbell, his daughter, three stepdaughters, two stepsons and five grandchildren.
This story includes reporting from CNN.