Bill Yoast, the football coach whose personality was portrayed by Will Patton in the film Remember The Titans, has died. He was 94 and passed at an assisted living facility in Springfield, Virginia, according to a news release from the Alexandria City Public Schools.
Yoast coached at Francis C. Hammond High School, an all-white school, before integration in the city high schools of Alexandria in 1971. He became defensive coach and assistant to head coach Herman Boone, who is black.
The relationship between the two men, who were portrayed by Will Patton and Denzel Washington, was the focus of the 2000 film.
“I didn’t know Yoast. Yoast didn’t know me,” Boone told The Washington Post. “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.”
The Titans went on to win the Virginia state football championship that season, finishing the year with an undefeated record.
Yoast spent three decades as a football coach in Alexandria and retired from teaching in 1990. He is survived by three children and nine grandchildren.