Screenshot native YouTube

We mental him as the California-tanned, long-haired hippie that reported to T.C. Williams High School’s soccer team in the middle of cultivate camp. After a linguistic jab from All-American linebacker Gerry Bertier, we saw “Sunshine” load up his powerful left arm and nail the Titans’ captain through a football because that a hilarious first-day introduction.

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The Remember The Titans version of Ronnie Bass, played by actor Kip Pardue, showed a fiery leader who outgoing personality gelled virtually instantly v his new teammates. Despite Disney’s masterpiece took some liberties with its made-for-Hollywood dramatization about T.C. Williams’ star quarterback, the genuine story of Ronald Edwin base is equally as cool to remember.

The real Life Ronnie “Sunshine” Bass

‘He live a complete life’: former QB, Ron ‘Sunshine’ Bass, remembers late coach Herman Boone >> https://t.co/pKA7JW0RWD pic.twitter.com/E6WOIK2fOe

— WMBF News (
wmbfnews) December 19, 2019

Yes, castle really dubbed him “Sunshine.” No, his hair wasn’t always that long.

“I eventually persuaded my dad to let me thrive it… simply to right in,” Ron base told Grand Strand Magazine in 2015.

Bass to be born in Ft. Walton Beach, Florida, ~ above October 28, 1955. The son of Betty Jean and also William Bass, the family members moved frequently seeing as “Bill” was an officer in the United claims Air Force. Stops in Smackover, Arkansas, Stillwater, Oklahoma, and also Huntington Beach, California, ultimately brought Ronnie bass to Alexandria, Virginia, wherein he played football his small and an elderly years.

Though manager Boaz Yakin portrays Bass getting here late to T.C. Williams’ cultivate camp in 1971 at Gettysburg College, Bass in reality arrived earlier that summer after the “spent the last month” the his California days on the beach. Showing up in Alexandria through a mean sunburn, his please demeanor and his sun-kissed skin deserve the renowned nickname “Sunshine.”

And if the film’s infamous locker room kiss between Bass and Bertier carried on an ext than a few questions, base has proclaimed that that minute never happened, and also many of the movie’s scenes were included for cinematic impact by screenwriter Gregory Allen Howard.


In reality, base won the quarterback job throughout training camp (not midseason, as the movie portrays) and also became a two-year starter because that head coach Herman Boone and famed defensive coordinator Bill Yoast. The 13-0 season and also 1971 Virginia AAA State Championship earn the T.C. Williams Titans a No. 2 ranking nationally, which bass and firm followed up through a 9-2 record his senior year.

“Sunshine” wasn’t done making his note in the game of football after ~ high school.

Ron Bass: QB that the south Carolina Gamecocks

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Bass obtained a college football scholarship from the southern Carolina Gamecocks and also then-head coach Paul Dietzel, that Bass became linked to front of his senior season:

“I went to North Carolina and also East Carolina and also schools like that. I guess the reason South Carolina came up was due to the fact that the 2nd year in ~ T.C., us didn?t walk to the complete team camp in ~ Gettysburg. The offensive backfield checked out Wake Forest’s veer camp, i beg your pardon was operation by Oval Jaynes. He to be recruiting me at Wake, climate he obtained hired by coach (Paul) Dietzel to placed in the veer violation at USC. So climate he to be recruiting me to south Carolina.”

Despite playing behind Jeff Grantz for two seasons, bass made waves as a sophomore once he hung 211 rushing yards top top the phibìc Carolina Tar Heels in his an initial career begin ? south Carolina were 14-point underdogs, winner the rivalry game 31-23, and Bass was named Sports Illustrated?s Player of the Week.

After redshirting in 1975 together the an outcome of knee surgery, base won the beginning quarterback job and took the reins in 1976 under new head coach Jim Carlen. He guided the Gamecocks come a 6-5 record, reaching No. 19 in the AP Poll at one allude during his junior season.

USC stumbled under the large in 1977 and finished 5-7. Base admitted that “probably shed a action or 2 from the knee surgery,” but he was aided his senior season v the arrival of freshman running back George Rogers, who went on to win the 1980 Heisman Trophy.

“Sunshine” perfect his collegiate career with almost 3,000 passing yards, over 1,000 rushing yards and 23 total touchdowns.

Where Is Ronnie bass Now?

According to the “Official 1971 initial Titans Website,” Ron base married Susan Carol Walsh in 1985. The pair settled under in Greenville, south Carolina, whereby they increased three children: Alexandria, Lindsay and Ronnie Jr.

Fittingly, Ronnie Bass, Jr. to be a star quarterback at phibìc Myrtle coast High School.

A 2016 interview through The State cited base as the national sales manager that WMBF-TV in Myrtle Beach. He’s functioned in the broadcasting and advertising industry all his life.

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When Coach Boone passed far in 2019, Bass remembered the affect the high school football coach had actually on his life and also the Alexandria neighborhood in the midst of gyeongju tensions:

“He was 84. Guess: v he live a complete life. I was really sad yesterday once I heard the died since he was really instrumental in happen Alexandria with each other after the desegregation battle earlier in ?71,. He came in, he was a tough coach, yet fair, but I think that?s exactly what the city needed at the time.”

We’ll mental the movie variation of “Sunshine” together leading Jerry “Rev” Harris under the sideline to supply T.C. Williams the title. Yet the real man is equally as interesting, and Ron Bass’ tradition lives on.


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