“Trust the soul of the man rather then the look of him”.
Sad news to report as we’ve learned of the passing of legendary T.C. Williams coach, William Yoast. He was 94 years old.
Bill Yoast, the legendary football coach who helped lead T.C. Williams (Va.) to a state title – later immortalized in the memorable film ‘Remember the Titans’- passed away today at 94 years old.🙏 @TCWTitans
— MaxPreps (@MaxPreps) May 24, 2019
Most know of Coach Yoast through his portrayal by Will Patton in the iconic film “Remember the Titans.” He was the head football coach of Hammond high school, but in 1971, the Alexandria school district consolidated the three high schools- Francis Hammond, George Washington and T.C. Williams- within T.C. Williams. After the consolidation, Herman Boone was hired to lead the football team, and Yoast eventually accepted the job as the team’s defensive coordinator and the team would move forward as an integrated program.
As expected, and captured in the movie, which was based upon the real life story of the T.C. Williams program, things were very testy from jump.
“No doubt, the beginning of our relationship was rocky,” said Boone. “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 to give to man.”
Today we remember legendary #RememberTheTitans Coach Bill Yoast, who has passed away. Along with Coach Herman Boone, Yoast helped transform the @TCWTitans into a model team and model school, leading the newly integrated football team to win the state championship in 1971. pic.twitter.com/hWygkHefW6
— Alexandria City Public Schools (@ACPSk12) May 24, 2019
Born in Florence, Alabama on November 16th, 1924, Yoast coached football at T.C. Williams from 1971 – 1979, and coached at the school from 1971 – 1996, leading athletes on the track and field and golf teams.
Yoast, who died Thursday at an assisted living facility in Springfield, Va., is the second member of the fabled T.C. Williams squad to pass away this year, as Julius Campbell passed away in January at the age of 65. The “left side-strong side” defensive end was portrayed by Wood Harris.