Free Screening of ‘The Coach Buehler Story’ Sept. 1

The film will be shown at The Carolina Theatre the Sunday following the Bull City Gridiron Football game

Lifelong friends LeRoy Walker, Sr. of NCCU and Al Buehler of Duke. Courtesy of the Durham Herald-Sun.
Lifelong friends LeRoy Walker, Sr. of NCCU and Al Buehler of Duke. Courtesy of the Durham Herald-Sun.

The public is invited to attend the Bull City Gridiron Classic Movie Night, featuring the documentary film "Starting at the Finish Line: The Coach Buehler Story," narrated and produced by NBA basketball player and Duke alumnus Grant Hill.

The documentary will be screened twice, at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m., on Sunday, Sept. 1, at the Carolina Theater in downtown Durham. Tickets are free, but required. To get tickets, go to

After the 5 p.m. screening, Frank Stasio, host of WUNC's "The State of Things," will moderate a discussion with Al Buehler and producer/director Amy Unell. LeRoy T. Walker Jr., son of the late North Carolina Central University track-and-field coach, and former Duke basketball player Jon Scheyer will also provide remarks.  

Buehler, the famed Duke track-and-field coach, joined Duke in 1955 and over the course of his career trained five Olympians. During the height of segregation, he formed a friendship with LeRoy Walker Sr., and invited NCCU athletes to train on Duke's track. The film includes interviews with Olympians and accomplished athletes, including Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Shane Battier, Carl Lewis, Joan Benoit and Coach K.

"This is a story bigger than track and field. It is a story about friendship, history, integration, accomplishment and ultimately change," Unell said in a release. "The two coaches were ahead of their time, effectively using the track as a place to create harmony among races, nations and gender."

The movie night follows Saturday's annual Bull City Gridiron Classic Football Game between Duke and NCCU. Food trucks will be on hand and attendees can enjoy live jazz provided by The Art of Cool Project.

The film will be screened at The Carolina Theatre which, like Duke, is celebrating its 50th anniversary of integration. For more information on Duke's 50th anniversary of black students, visit