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Mon, 10.28.1935

Herman Boone, Football Coach born.

Herman Boone

*Herman Boone was born on this date in 1935. He was a Black high school teacher and football coach.

Herman Ike Boone was from Rocky Mount, North Carolina. He attended Abraham Lincoln Elementary School, then the now-closed Booker T. Washington High School. While attending North Carolina Central University, Boone joined the Tau Psi chapter of the Omega Psi Phi fraternity. Boone graduated with a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Science degree.

1958, he accepted his first teaching and coaching position at the Luther H. Foster High School in Blackstone, Virginia, where he coached football, basketball, and baseball. His teams recorded twenty-six wins, six losses, and three district championships. In 1961, he returned to his home state of North Carolina to continue coaching and teaching at E.J. Hayes High School in Williamston, North Carolina. His football teams amassed a record of 99 wins and eight losses in nine years. Scholastic Coach's Magazine recognized his 1966 football team as "The Number One Football Team in America."

In 1969, Herman resigned from his position, having been informed by the Williamston school board that the town of Williamston "was not ready for a black head coach." Boone was a Physical Education teacher and an assistant football coach at T. C. Williams High School in 1969, where he was the head junior varsity wrestling coach. Having fully integrated its high schools in 1965 (the elementary schools began City school integration on February 10, 1959), the city of Alexandria, Virginia, consolidated students from three high schools into T. C. Williams in 1971, and Boone was named the head coach of the combined team.

Boone took the team on a preseason training trip to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, where the team members got to know each other. President Richard Nixon sent an aide, Dr. Brown, to see this integrated football team beginning to catch national attention. Boone was fired from his coaching position in 1979 after allegations of player abuse and related complaints by three assistant coaches. He retired from coaching and appeared as a public speaker at functions regarding his time as a coach.

In 2016, he was awarded the Living Legends of Alexandria award given to notable citizens of Alexandria, Virginia. In retirement, Boone lived with his wife, Carol Luck, in Alexandria, Virginia. They had three daughters, Sharron, Donna, and Monica, and six grandchildren, Camri, Kiara, William, Mackenzie, Myles, and Lauren.

Boone was a friend of Willie Jeffries, dating back to when the two were assistant coaches in North Carolina. Boone wrote a recommendation letter supporting Jeffries' induction into the College Football Hall of Fame. In it, Boone wrote, "Without his leadership and example, there would not have been Remember the Titans or the advancement in race relations in sports that we have witnessed." Herman Boone died at his home in Alexandria on December 18, 2019, at 84. He had been diagnosed with lung cancer. His wife, Carol, had died on March 23, 2019.

To become a Coach


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From deep sleep I sat upright And clutched his new lapels, For he was laughing. Back from the dead He came, I say, Laughing I asked not "Are you not dead?" But "What is it?" His talcum chin, And pebbles eyes, And... NIGHTMARE by James Emanuel.
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