Bill Yoast, the former high school football coach who was portrayed in the 2000 film “Remember the Titans,” died Thursday, The Washington Post reported. He was 94.
Yoast died at an assisted living facility in Springfield, Virginia, his daughter, Dee Dee Fox, confirmed. No cause of death was provided, the newspaper reported.
Alexandria City Public Schools also confirmed Yoast’s death in a news release.
Yoast coached at T.C. Williams High in Alexandria from 1971 to 1996 as the football team’s defensive coordinator. Head coach Herman Boone, the first black high school football coach in the district, led the team in 1971 to an undefeated season and a state championship.
The team’s story was the inspiration behind “Remember the Titans,” in which Denzel Washington played Boone and Will Patton played Yoast.
Yoast was the head football coach at all-white Francis Hammond High School, but in 1971 the Alexandria school district consolidated its three high schools, sending the upperclassmen to T.C. Williams and converting Hammond and George Washington into junior high schools, the Post reported.
Boone and Yoast "put aside personal pride and pulled together to solidify a diverse coaching staff and team into the most successful team in the state in 1971," the school district said in its release.
“No doubt, the beginning of our relationship was rocky,” Boone, who coached the Titans from 1971 to 1979, told the Post in a telephone interview. “I didn’t know Yoast. Yoast didn’t know me. I knew that Hammond had no black athletes and I didn’t know if coach Yoast had anything to do with that. But we got to (training camp) and became roommates and found a way to talk to one another.
“I think that’s the formula for race relations throughout the world. People have to learn to talk to one another. You have to learn to talk to that individual, and when you talk to that individual, you learn to trust that individual, and that’s the greatest gift God gave to man.”
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