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Bill Yoast, of 'Titans' fame, has died

The legendary Virginia high school coach Bill Yoast has died. The Washington Post confirmed through Yoast's daughter, Dee Dee Fox, passed away at an assisted living facility on Thursday; he was 94.

Yoast was memorialized in the film "Remember the Titans," which told the story of the formation of the football program at Alexandria's T.C. Williams High School. Yoast had served as the head coach at Alexandria's Hammond High School, but after the district consolidated its three high schools into one in 1971, Yoast was chosen as the defensive coordinator to Herman Boone. The Titans won the Virginia state championship in its first season post-integration, going undefeated in the process and winning the state title game 27-0.

In addition to their obvious racial differences, Boone and Yoast also had wildly different personalities. Boone was loud and fiery, Yoast calm and stoic.

“No doubt, the beginning of our relationship was rocky,” Boone told the Washington Post. “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.”

Boone left T.C. Williams after the 1979 season, while Yoast remained at the school through his retirement in 1996. He coached track and field and golf in addition to football.

Yoast is survived by his ex-wife, three daughters, nine grandchildren and a multitude of great-grandchildren.