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Coach of the Year (1980)

TV Movie  -   -  Drama  -  20 December 1980 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.6/10 from 117 users  
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Jim Brandon, a former player of the Chigago Bears, has been paralysed during the Vietnam-war. When he returns, he tries to get a job as a football-coach, but he doesn't succeed. After a ... See full summary »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jim Brandon
Paula DeFalco
Superintendant Turner
Merissa Lane (as Daphne Maxwell)
Munroe Sweetlife Johnson (#12) (as David Hubbard)
Andy DeFalco (#84) (as Ricky Paul)
Hector Estrada (#24)
Radames Torres ...
Effie Peanut Rodriguez (#22) (as Radamus Torres)
Louis Carello ...
Eddie Lovella (as Lou Carello)
Ed O'Bradovich ...
Ed O'Bradovich
Joneal Joplin ...
Coach Forester
Howard A. Peters III
Calvin Bradford ...
The Boys from St. Charles
José 'Little Man' Navarro ...
The Boys from St. Charles (as Jose 'Little Man' Navarro)


Jim Brandon, a former player of the Chigago Bears, has been paralysed during the Vietnam-war. When he returns, he tries to get a job as a football-coach, but he doesn't succeed. After a visit to the youth-prison St.Charles he thinks of becoming the football- coach there. He decides to do it, 'cause he likes the challenge. The boys, young delinquents, don't accept him, but he goes all out to be accepted. Written by Tony Kessen <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




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Release Date:

20 December 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Fourth Down Behind Bars  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice maintains six Youth Center correction facilities; Illinois Youth Center St. Charles is one of the six and was opened in December, 1904. In 2012 it had a capacity for 348 juvenile males with an average daily population of 328 boys with an average age of 16. See more »

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User Reviews

Did The Rock See This?
7 July 2007 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Take away the paraplegic component of the story and what you have is an Eighties version of The Rock's Gridiron Gang from last year.

Paralyzed Vietnam veteran, Robert Conrad, left behind a career with the Chicago Bears to serve his country in Vietnam where he got the spinal wounds that left him in the wheelchair. He can't get any kind of coaching job due to his injuries. When his juvenile nephew gets himself arrested however for armed robbery and sentenced to a juvenile facility, Conrad takes on the job of athletic director of the place.

Just like in the big screen Gridiron Gang, football proves to be therapeutic for both the kids and the coach who's pretty down on himself. Conrad is fine in the part and he gets nice support from an old friend Red West who plays the warden at the juvenile center. West was a regular on Conrad's Black Sheep Squadron series. Erin Gray is Conrad's sister and Ricky Paul Goldin is the nephew.

Nothing outstanding here, but it's a decent enough made for TV film.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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