Bill Yoast is the real-life hero of Remember the Titans, the inspirational hit movie that chronicled the struggles of black and white high school football athletes to create a championship season in racially charged Alexandria, Virginia, in 1972. Will Patton played Yoast's role and Denzel Washington played the role of Head Coach Herman Boone. Uniting in a common effort, Yoast and Boone led T.C. Williams High School to an undefeated season, and in the process brought the school and polarized community together. The real-life Yoast is even more compelling than his film version. At one time, the former World War II veteran considered going into the ministry. Fortunately, for the hundreds of young men and women whose lives he helped mold, he found his calling in coaching. To him, the title "coach" always meant more than wins and losses; coaching was a vehicle through which he could help young people. One of Yoast's greatest victories came with Gerry Bertier, his star lineman whose tragic auto accident and resulting paralysis was seen in Remember the Titans. What the film did not include was the fact that, for years after the accident, Yoast worked with Bertier, coaching him to win gold medals in shotput and discus at the Wheel Chair Olympics.
Steve Sullivan is a popular motivational speaker whose books have sold over 100,000 copies. He lives in North Haven, Connecticut.