Born In: Rocky Mount, North Carolina, United States
Herman Ike Boone was a former American high school football coach, best known as the head coach of the 1971 T. C. Williams High School football team. He forayed into coaching with ‘Luther H. Foster High School,’ in Blackstone, Virginia, where he was also a faculty member. He coached football, baseball, and basketball teams at the school and won three district championships. He later joined the ‘E.J. Hayes High School,’ in Williamston, North Carolina, where his football teams recorded 99 wins and 8 losses over a period of 9 years. The ‘Scholastic Coach's Magazine’ recognised his 1966 football team as "The Number One Football Team in America." Herman was, however, fired from the school because of racial bias. All high school students of the city of Alexandria, Virginia, were consolidated into ‘T. C. Williams High School’ in 1971, and the same year Herman was inducted as the head coach of the school’s football program. He had a successful time with the high school football team, as lead them to a 13–0 season, state championship, and national championship runner-up. The blockbuster hit biographical sports film ‘Remember the Titans’ was based on him; Denzel Washington portrayed Herman in the film. ‘The Herman Boone Trophy’ is name after him.
Also Known As: Herman Ike Boone
Died At Age: 84
Spouse/Ex-: Carol Boone
father: Frank Boone
mother: Daisy Boone
children: Donna Boone, Monica Boone, Sharron Boone
Born Country: United States
place of death: Alexandria, Virginia, U.S.
Notable Alumni: North Carolina Central University
Cause of Death: Lung Cancer
U.S. State: North Carolina
education: North Carolina Central University
Herman landed up his first teaching and coaching job in 1958, at the ‘Luther H. Foster High School’ in Blackstone, Virginia. At the school, he coached the football, baseball, and basketball teams. Under his guidance, the teams recorded twenty-six wins and 3 district championships, with just 6 losses.
He came back to North Carolina in 1961, to pursue a better career in teaching and coaching. He joined the ‘E.J. Hayes High School,’ Williamston, as a coach. He had a 9 year stint with the school and during this period, the school football team put up an impressive show, recording 99 wins and only 8 losses. ‘The Scholastic Coach's Magazine’ tagged his 1966 football team as "The Number One Football Team in America." Herman was, however, fired from his post in 1969, as the board of the school felt that Williamston town "was not ready for a black head coach."
Meanwhile, the schools of Alexandria, Virginia, were integrated in 1965, and in 1971, the city consolidated all high school students into ‘T. C. Williams High School.’ Herman was appointed the head coach of the football program of ‘T. C. Williams High School’ in 1971, amidst tensions that that Herman, a black coach, was given the job over the popular white coach Bill Yoast. Herman, however, was not deterred by such racial disturbances and led the 1971 football team of the high school to the Virginia State Championship and the team became the national championship runner-up. The team had a 13–0 season.
The team members of the ‘T. C. Williams High School’ football program got to know each other in the Gettysburg camp. As the integrated football team started drawing national attention, the then President of the United States, Richard Nixon, sent an aide, Dr. Brown, to see the team. President Nixon, while mentioning about the Titans, said in December 1971, that the team saved the Alexandria city.
Following his retirement from coaching, Herman used to attend functions as a public speaker and shared his experience as a high school football coach at ‘T. C. Williams High School.’
The biographical sports film ‘Remember the Titans,’ considered by many as one of the best football films, is based on the true story of Herman and his efforts in integrating ‘T. C. Williams High School’ football team in 1971. Noted American actor, director, and producer Denzel Washington portrayed Herman in the film, which emerged as a blockbuster hit.
Herman Boone was married to Carol Boone with whom he had three daughters - Sharron, Monica, and Donna. He also had three grandchildren - Lauren, Myles, and Mackenzie. Carol died in March 23, 2019.
Former American football player and coach Willie Jeffries was a friend of Herman. Their friendship dates back to the time they both served as assistant coaches in North Carolina. Herman also wrote a recommendation letter for inclusion of Willie’s name into the ‘College Football Hall of Fame.’
Herman Boone died on December 18, 2019, at his home in Alexandria. He was 84.
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