Wyat Taylor/The Daily Evergreen
Inspirational football coach Herman Boone shared life lessons he learned while coaching the famous 1971 Titans to a crowded CUB Senior Ballroom on Wednesday night.
Boone, whose life was portrayed by Denzel Washington in the movie “Remember the Titans,” spoke to the students not only about the game of football and the movie, but also everything he learned from the team.
“These young boys called the Titans broke the mold in Virginia,” Boone said. “They took risks and showed the world that they were not afraid to take the plunge for what they believed in. By doing so they created trust among themselves, and that trust became respect, and that respect became the emotional glue that binds that football team together then, and today.”
Boone made the audience laugh with his stories of the Titians, including some of the differences between real life and the movie. He told the crowd that he did not make the team run through the swamps of Gettysburg at 3 a.m. but in fact had them ride the bus there at 9 p.m.
Boone spoke on other subjects, such as his marriage, and touched some students in ways they did not expect.
“People, I think, expected a lot about football, and about leadership and education, and just the typical things that you were taught in the movie,” said Avery Hutcherson, a senior digital technology major who attended the lecture. “But I think the thing that stood out to me the most was when he spoke about his wife. Marriage isn’t a normal thing anymore. It's not a sacred pack between a man and a woman. The way that he spoke about his wife, saying that he was married to her for 49 years, and how he couldn’t wait to wake up every morning just to make her laugh, was probably one of the sweetest things every woman and man needs to hear.”
Another aspect of Boone’s lecture that left a mark with students was his approach on how to gain respect from others. Boone emphasized creating dialogue between different cultures and creating trust.
“I think that is something that will stick with me throughout my time here at WSU and throughout my life, about opening up and creating that dialogue with someone that you don’t know, or with someone that you don’t like, and learning to gain that respect,” said Christina Turner, a senior communication major.
Boone advised students to never back down in the face of adversity.
“Don’t be afraid to stand up and speak out about the righteousness of other people,” he said.