PSU news by
Penn State's student blog



Herman Boone Inspires Penn State Crowd

Legendary high school football coach Herman Boone, made famous by the Disney movie Remember the Titans spoke to a crowd of admiring attendees at Eisenhower Auditorium last night. The evening opened with the scene from the movie where Denzel Washington has his team run through the woods at 3am until they reach the battlefields of Gettysburg ending with a speech from the coach that would ultimately cause the union of a team divided.

Herman Boone entertained the crowd with his eloquence and humor, telling his personal tales of facing adversity and quoting from those he admired such as Vince Lombardi and Carter G. Woodson. Boone said it himself he’s “just a retired football coach” but the impact he has had over his long standing career has gone on to reach even us here at Penn State.

At the beginning of his speech Boone acknowledged Larry Johnson Sr., who was present in the crowd with his wife. Boone praised Johnson for his tenure as a high school football coach in Maryland as well as all that he has done here for the Nittany Lions with recruiting and defense.

You might be wondering what made the story of the Titans so special that it was picked up by Disney, but Boone had an answer to that too. He said the movie was written because the team found a way to celebrate their differences rather than make them a problem to be solved. As a coach, Boone knew he could not “legislate love” but instead had to find alternative ways to inspire and form a cohesive bond amongst his team members during a severe time of racial dispute.

When asked how he felt when he heard Denzel Washington would be portraying him in the film Boone responded “I thought they coulda found someone better looking” but went on to commend Denzel on his respectful commitment to every role he plays. A true testament to the character of Denzel Washington was the fact that the film itself had a total of $19 million budget, whereas Denzel’s typical salary per film is upwards of $12 million. Denzel actually asked for the honor of playing Coach Boone (knowing he would be taking a major pay cut) in the film  that ultimately ended up grossing over $200 million since its premiere.

At the end of his speech Boone received a standing ovation from the audience before entering in to a question and answer section. Members in attendance inquired about everything from ‘did Sunshine really kiss Gary Bertier’ to advice on how to succeed as a college football coach. Boone insisted that there is “no better profession than to be a coach” and that he receives the most payment when players he has coached succeed in their own careers.

Throughout the night Boone kept the audience engaged with his charisma and a few jokes, but what caught my attention the most was a quote from Vince Lombardi: “You have to believe because to believe is to have faith”. I thought this represented the central message Boone was trying to get across, that as students we are the future of our country and we determine what we do and where we go in life. “Dreams have no expiration date” Boone said, as he encouraged students to make the most of their degrees from Penn State, and their desires to live full lives.

About the Author

Caity Rogowski

I'm quite odd, a little creepy, and pretty awkward, but we'd probably get along.

In real life I'm a THON 2011 Supply Logistics Captain, a Homecoming 2010 Public Relations Captain, a member of Zeta Tau Alpha, a dancer in ETCH Dance Co. and I tweet a lot.


More by Caity

Stoop Kid’s Afraid to Leave the Stoop

Editor and graduating senior Caity Rogowski writes about living the questions, facing fears, sharing burdens, and accepting reality.

“If you’ve ever seen the movie You’ve Got Mail, you’ll understand me when I say I have the “Kathleen Kelly Syndrome.” I often have trouble saying exactly what I mean. Instead, I find it easier to outsource by using quotes or songs to convey my message. That’s why you’ll find a few of my favorites scattered throughout this post: my senior column.”

Celebrate The End Of Classes At Alex’s Lemonade Stand

Beats To Keep You Groovin’ During Study Hours


Incoming Penn State Track & Field Athlete Kristian Marche Shot To Death In Philadelphia

The incident surrounding Marche’s death is “under investigation,” according to the Philadelphia police department.

Former Women’s Gymnastics Coach Files Lawsuit Against Penn State Over Handling Of Abuse Allegations

Men’s Soccer Trio, Reading United Win PDL Eastern Conference Title, Fall Short Of National Championship

Penn State Hockey’s Evan Barratt, Aarne Talvitie Participate In World Junior Summer Showcase

Ally McHugh Wins 400 Medley National Championship

Student Life

Nike Releases New Penn State Sneakers

This year’s sneaker is available to purchase online for $109.99.

Penn State Parking Office Runs Into Student Permit Purchase Issues

Girirajan Lab Seeks To Bridge The Gap Between Fly And Human Genomes

Plans Submitted For New KFC In State College

Developers have submitted preliminary land development plans to build a new KFC restaurant at 1780 S. Atherton St. in State College.

Join Onward State: Fall 2018 Application

Onward State is hiring for the fall semester and we’d love to have you join us.

Fall Move-In Traffic & Construction Changes

When 40,000 students need to move back to State College over the course of four days or so, things are bound to get crazy.

Be the first to know

  • Top posts and the best Penn State stories

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Assessing Penn State’s Front Seven Following Tuesday’s Medical Retirements

Penn State’s defensive line rotation will be shaken up following Ryan Buchholz’s medical retirement from football, while the coaching staff is letting the linebackers duel it out during camp.

Send this to a friend