Ronnie Bass (as played by actor Kip Pardue) wasn't the only Titan with long hair in 1971. In Real Life: As screenwriter Gregory Allen Howard knew, the conflict among the coaches wasn't primarily about race; it was about ego and ambition. As Howard himself wrote in the Los Angeles Times, "Alexandria had a seniority system; senior coach automatically got the head job." But Yoast was passed over for what he thought was the best high school coaching job in the country -- and it hurt. "I had to get over the ego trip -- and that's what it was -- of being head man," Yoast recalled.