Beloved football coach, Herman Boone, third Distinguished Speaker

University Park, Pa. – Herman Boone, the football coach portrayed in “Remember the Titans, ” is the third speaker in Penn State’s 2010-11 Student Programming Associations Distinguished Speaker Series. Boone will speak at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 22, in Eisenhower Auditorium at Penn State’s University Park campus.

In 1971, Boone faced challenging racial tensions as three Alexandria, Va. schools were newly integrated to form the T.C. Williams High School. It was from this union that the Titan Football team was created. The former rivalries between the schools, coupled with the strain between the black and white players resulted in a team that was far from united.

Tensions also escalated when Boone, assistant coach of the former T.C. Williams High School, was named head coach of the Titans, passing over local favorite, Bill Yoast, successful head coach of the former white Hammond High. Despite this, the two coaches turned a deaf ear to prejudices and in doing so unified their players to form a team whose common vision was to respect each other and win football games. Because of this, Boone and Yoast were also able to help 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 going on to win the state championship.

Boone is now retired from football but continues to inspire young people by speaking about the importance of character, respect and community involvement.

The event is free and open to the public but tickets are required for admittance. Tickets will be available to students Tuesday, Feb. 8 – two issued per I.D. – and will be available to faculty, staff and the general public on Tuesday, Feb. 15, based on availability.

Distinguished Speaker Series tickets are available at the following locations and times:

Eisenhower Auditorium, corner of Shortlidge and Eisenhower roads, weekdays 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; HUB-Robeson Center, on Pollock Road, weekdays 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Bryce Jordan Center, corner of University Drive and Curtin Road, weekdays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., all on the University Park campus; and the Penn State Downtown Theatre Center, 146 S. Allen St., State College, weekdays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturdays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

For more information about the Distinguished Speaker Series and the Student Programming Association, visit online.

Last Updated April 18, 2017