In Virginia.High-school football is a way of life.
It's bigger than Christmas Day.
My daddy coached in Alexandria. He worked so hard. My mama left him.
But I stayed with Coach. He needed me on that field.
Up until 1971. in Alexandria there was no race mixing.
Then the school board forced us to integrate.
They combined the white school and the black school into one.
Called T. C. Williams High School.
That summer. A black teenager was killed by a white store owner.
And the city was on the verge of exploding.
You've caused enough damage. This is my store.
Move left! Move left! Hut. Hut!
Come on. Kurt. Don't let Ray back you down like that. You're twice his size!
Oh! What are they doing? If they keep on playing like that. We'll lose every game!
I didn't think that was so bad.
That's good. Gerry. I can see you've been working.
Thanks a lot. Coach. Um. Listen. With the schools integrating and all.
Some of the guys are worried about losing their starting positions.
That's something that we're gonna have to figure out.
But you don't worry about that now. You just keep at it. All right?
Guys! Guys! It's coming down.
It's coming down at the store!
They wanna burn the place up 'cause that colored kid got shot.
Come on. Man. Let's go.
Hey! Come on. Guys!
Coach. Just get Sheryl to the school now. Herb.
Burn it down! Burn it down!
Get in the truck.
Gerry. Alan. Ray.
If you ever wanna play for me again. Get in the truck. Now.
You boys are gonna cool off. Come to my office. Help me finish packing my things.
Gerry. Son. Your heart's in the right place.
But you oughta know better than to embarrass the coach like that.
Hell. Why don't you just kick 'em all off the team?
I don't wanna play with any of those black animals. What? I see him.
Who are you?
I'm Herman Boone. I'm the new assistant coach.
Well. From the looks of things I'd say we got about all the help we need around here.
Why ain't you outside there with all your little friends. Hollering?
This was the time that was arranged for me to meet with Coach Yoast.
I never miss an appointment. Well. Maybe. Um...
Maybe you just better reschedule.
Coach Boone. The school board made the decision to put you on my staff.
I did not hire you. Well. I came up here to coach at G.W.
I didn't ask the schools to redistrict. I didn't ask to be assigned to your staff.
So I guess we're both in a situation we don't want to be in.
But I can guarantee you this. Coach.
I come to win.
Win? Coach Yoast has been nominated to the Virginia High School Hall of Fame.
15 winning seasons.
Well. I won a couple titles down in North Carolina.
That's double-A ball. This here's Virginia. We play triple-A.
What an opportunity for me then...
...from the best.
"Marvin Gaye" -"I Heard it Through the Grapevine"
Are those people the movers? -No. Looks like they're moving in here.
Lord. How many of them are there?
Only takes one. Then we're gonna be overrun by 'em.
Mommy. Where you taking my teddy bear?
Come on. Y'all. Oh. Ho-ho.
Where is everybody? Nicky. Yes.
Look there. Here comes some more of 'em.
Well. That's Dr. Day. That negro from the school board. What's he doing here?
The school board has decided that Negro Herman Booneis gonna be the head coach at T.C.
It's not fair! My daddy's head coach!
This is gonna be his Hall of Fame year.-No one is trying to take away your daddy's future place in the Hall.
You can't just walk in here and take my daddy's job away!
That is enough. Sheryl. That's enough.
It's all right. I feel the same way.
It's those agitators and race-mixers I feel like taking a swat at.
Troublemakers in the Berg are ready to put a torch to the city.
You want us to burn up like Watts?
Every head coach in the system is white. We had to give them something.
It's the world we live in. God help us all.
I left North Carolina because I was passed over for a job that I had righrfully earned.
Gave it to a white coach down therecouldn't even tie up his own football cleats.
Now you are asking me to do the same thing to this man? I can't do that.
Folks in Carolina say you marched with Dr. King.
Say you stood toe-to-toe with the Klan.
Said you're a race man. That's right. I'm also a family man.
Coach Boone. Black folks have never had anything in this city to call their own
except humiliation and despair.
Dr. Day. Excuse me. Herman. I think that you better look outside.
So you see. We need you. Coach Boone. Come on.
Coach Boone. I'm Charles Campbell. This here is my boy. Julius.
He can be the finest defensive end in the whole state if you push him to it.
I heard a lot about your boy. You're like a answer to our prayers.
Wait a minute. Now. I'm not an answer to your prayers.
I'm not a savior or Jesus Christ. Martin Luther King or the Easter Bunny.
I'm a football coach. That's all. Just a football coach.
You're our coach. You're our coach!
Boone! Boone! Boone!...
What do you want?
Is Coach Yoast here? We're busy.
Interviewing for head-coaching jobs.
Got 11 offers and certainly no time for you.
Well. Come on in. I've got an office out back.
Look. I can't even spell diplomacy and I'm sorry about the way things went down.
But make no mistake. I am qualified to be this school's head coach.
Well. Sure. You've been in. What. Four or five programs in the past ten years?
With four or five championships. This isn't about me.
I'm worried about my boys. -I ain't gonna cook 'em and eat 'em.
The best player will play. Color won't matter.
From the looks of our little situation we got us here. I'd say it's about all that does.
Yeah. You're right. We in a tough spot. Coach. You. Me. The whole city.
I think that it would go a long way to smooth things over if you would stay.
Work on the staff. Be a defensive coordinator. Assistant head coach.
Work under you? If that's the way you see it.
Good night. Coach.
It's been a rare privilege to have lived here as long as I have. Coaching your boys.
I'll be taking the year off...No.
...after which I'll be moving to Loudon
and taking the head-coaching job at Loudon High.
Don't go. Coach! I say boycott T.C. Williams.
Tell 'em. Fred.
Our boys aren't playing for some Coach Coon.
Coach. He stole your job. I'm not playing for him.
I started a petition and I'm sitting this season out.
Only place you're gonna sit is right back in that chair. Gerry. I appreciate it. Though.
Boycott T. C! Boycott the school! Stop this. Fred.
You know none of these boys can afford to go to some other district just to play ball.
They sit this one out. They put their futures on the line.