Skip to main content
Main Penn College Website

Immortalized in Disney Film, Former Titans Coach to Speak at College

The real-life inspiration for the popular Disney movie “Remember the Titans” will be the featured speaker for this year’s observance of the Rev. Martin Luther King’s contributions.

Herman Boone, the motivational football coach portrayed on screen by Denzel Washington, will address this year’s theme – “Community Unity: Moving Forward Together” –  in a free, public appearance at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 18, in Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Klump Academic Center Auditorium.

Herman Boone, the real-life motivational football coach portrayed in the 2000 Disney movie “Remember the Titans,” will speak at Penn College in a free Dream Week event scheduled for Jan. 18.
Herman Boone, the real-life motivational football coach portrayed in the 2000 Disney movie “Remember the Titans,” will speak at Penn College in a free Dream Week event scheduled for Jan. 18.

“For a number of years, Penn College has been working with our Williamsport community partners: the Beloved Community Council, Lycoming College and STEP AmeriCorps, in an effort to commemorate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. through a Dream Week celebration,” said Katie L. Mackey, director of campus and community engagement. “Dr. King, a powerful man who displayed values of compassion, justice, courage and humility, left a true legacy in the lives of so many individuals and continues to inspire our actions moving forward.”

This year’s commemoration also includes a milelong Peace Walk and Day of Service, beginning on campus at 9 a.m. Monday, Jan. 15. The procession, which is open to the public and preceded by a half-hour registration, will start at the college’s Bardo Gymnasium.

It will be followed by guest speakers and a rally at 9:45 a.m., then service projects at community locations from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Other Dream Week events include:

  • “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” a celebration of King, set for 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 16, in Lycoming College’s Clarke Chapel
  • “Unity Through Understanding,” a light dinner (5 p.m.) and roundtable discussion (5:30-7:30 p.m.) on Wednesday, Jan. 17, in Christ Community Worship Center, 436 W. Fourth St.

Retired, but continuing to move audiences with presentations on respect, teamwork, community involvement and the importance of character, Boone was challenged in 1971 with uniting black and white players when T.C. Williams High was integrated from three formerly rival schools in Alexandria, Virginia.

Tensions only escalated when Boone was named head coach of the Titans, passing over Bill Yoast, the local favorite and successful head coach of the former (and white) Hammond High School. Yoast’s supporters were angered by Boone’s appointment, but the two coaches were remarkably able to put aside differences and, in doing so, unite their players (and a once-intolerant community) under a common vision of respect and victory.

The Titans became one of the best teams in Virginia, compiling a 13-0 record and going on to win the state championship.

Free showings of the 2000 movie will precede Boone’s appearance: at 6 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 14, in CC Commons on the first floor of the Bush Campus Center, and at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 16, in the first-floor presentation room of the college’s Student & Administrative Services Center.

For more about Penn College, a national leader in applied technology education and workforce development, email the Admissions Office or call toll-free 800-367-9222.

Related Stories

‘Bridges of Madison County’ to be staged by CTL at CAC
Read more
“Second Nature,” featuring works by an area graphic designer, Sarah Patterson, is available for viewing on the website of The Gallery at Penn College. Events
‘Second Nature’ exhibit offers inspiration for journaling
Read more
‘Arrrrrrrre ya ready, kids?!?’
Read more