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video: Coach Herman Boone Speaks to Providence College, Addresses Diversity

Thursday, April 07, 2011

 

Herman Boone, famous for his inspirational coaching career with the 1971 T.C. Williams Titans Football team in Alexandria, Virginia, addressed the Providence College Community last night. Coach Boone’s story became the focus of the 2000 film, Remember the Titans, where Denzel Washington portrayed his character.

Boone was appointed as T.C. Williams High School’s first consolidated head football coach in 1971, when the city of Alexandria, Virginia decided to totally integrate its school system.
Boone’s dedication to his team, matched with his ability to diffuse the racial tensions affecting his players, led the 1971 Titans to a Virginia State Championship title.

Remeber the Titans

Coach Boone describes the emotions surrounding his team saying, “Diverse unfocused boys who were unwilling to talk to each other, broke the mold in the state of Virginia because they found a way to accept their teammates as equals at a time when it was neither popular or in many cases safe. That brave mentality started them on a journey of a lifetime and once they decided to become a team, they battled under extreme circumstances until reaching the pinnacle of high school football, a State Title.”

Although the movie was touched on, Boone stressed the importance of making a difference in the student community. Boone encouraged students to overcome diversity by talking about their differences and by getting to know others in their community.

“Individuals must learn to merge their own abilities within the larger context of a team. They learn what they can do well, and what others can do well. Those skills and attitudes are then mixed and matched with others who complement their strengths in an effort to identify abilities that blend together into a well-functioning, synchronized unit,” said Boone.

Today, Coach Boone is retired, but continues to inspire young people with his presentations on diversity, teamwork, and respect.
 

 

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