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Reviews & Ratings for
"Coach" More at IMDbPro »

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16 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Under-Rated Classic

Author: Matlock-4 from MI
5 May 1999

Of all of the shows (Comedies) I have seen, Coach is the the most under-rated and one of the best I have seen. You have one hell of a comedic (and dramatic) actor Craig T. Nelson and when you put together him with a cast that includes Jerry Van Dyke you have success. It's a shame I got into this show after its initial run, but thank God for repeats or I would have missed the greatness this show has to offer. A+ ALL THE WAY

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12 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Classic Sitcoms rarely get better than this

Author: edmundmuskie from America
7 February 2003

This was a great show. Craig T. Nelson is a very funny man and this show was deservedly one of the most popular during its long run. Nelson played Hayden Fox, a football coach for the Minnesota Screaming Eagles, at a college, Minnesota State. He had a girlfriend; anchorwoman Christine Armstrong played by veteran singer Shelly Fabares, a daughter Kelly and her boyfriend and later husband Stewart.

The real stars of the show were the people he worked with though. Jerry Van Dyke, brother of Dick van Dyke played Luther, Hayden's assistant coach, Dauber was another assistant coach who was also a student that never seemed to graduate and the not too frequently seen Howard Burleigh the goofy athletic director that let Hayden get by with a whole lot.

Hayden was essentially a nice guy, but he also had many flaws. He was sexist, self centered, obnoxious, basically a football coach. He was an Archie Bunker for his time, but not near as edgy of course. He was always trying to control the lives of his daughter, his girlfriend and his friends at work.

The show had so many great lines. The writing was great as there was never a week character even people that were in one or two episodes. I thought the weakest characters in the show was his girlfriend and his daughter who were mostly just background noise to his work where the real great gags were. Luther was so great. He was such an odd character he almost made the show.

The best episode was the one when we learned of Howard Burleigh's society the Society of Loons. The loon is actually a bird the group is named after. I thought I was going to die when I heard the members scream `LOOOOONNNN!' That is classic. I love how Hayden Fox seems to always be at odds with someone whether it is someone that is a bit on the artsy side, an administrator, one of Christine's friends or almost anyone he chooses.

The show works because the dialogue is not forced. The writing was near perfect. All of them had near perfect lines, except for his girlfriend and his daughter who eventually drifted away from the show. The show lost a lot of its charm when Hayden moved to the pros and coached a team in Florida. It was still funny but not as good as it once was. Still this is a great show, watch it on Nick at Nite, it's a classic.

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13 out of 15 people found the following review useful:


Author: Wood-18 from schenectady
27 April 2000

i think that this is one of the more underrated series of the late 90's. It was tough to compete against such series as "Cheers" "Seinfeld" and "The Cosby Show" I am sure, but if that show were to debut now it would be more of a hit then it was. (Much like "Wings" in that effect)

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9 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Great series

Author: Op_Prime from Ardmore, PA
5 January 2000

A definite classic. Craig T. Nelson and Jerry Van Dyke were the funniest on the series. Today's writers should take a lesson from this and other classic sitcoms. The series finale was the best episode. It's a shame the show has come to an end but at least there are reruns.

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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

We'd take "COACH" over First Class any day!

Author: John T. Ryan ( from United States
20 December 2007

In our way of life, Television Sitcoms come and go. Some series make such a brief appearance on the television schedule that they are virtually totally forgotten. It would seem that even a seemingly good premise, proper casting and high volume publicity blitzing of promo spots cannot guarantee any degree of success at all. There are certain intangibles, like chemistry and good old luck, which play a big role in the ratings ordeal.

It does seem that a lot of our more successful situation comedies of recent years have had one thing in common. Where the main character so often would be someone who was above it all, we have finally begun to see the lead character's having a foible or two.

Hence we have been treated to an array of less than perfect main characters such as Judd Hirsch's Alex Reiger in "TAXI" (1978-83) or Ted Danson as Sam Malone in "CHEERS" (1982-93). These characters have all of the faults and foibles as any of us, and maybe even a tad more in some areas.

Then why not have a series about the comical trials and tribulations of a guy who just happens to be a Head Coach at a Major (though fictional) University having a big time Varsity Football Program. His life goes on all year long; he doesn't get put on a shelf after the Autumn Football Season. Even if their squad is playing in one of those big time Bowl Games around New Years Day, they still have things to do in February, March, April, etc.

That brings us to "COACH", and none too soon! The series is as much a success due to those in the cast, but they also had some very good comic situations in which to let their characters just do their thing.

The main characters are Head Coach Hayden Fox (Craig T. Nelson), his Fiancée, Christine Armstrong, Asst. Coach, Luther Van Dam (Jerry Van Dyke) and Asst. Coach Dauber Dynzinski (Bill Fagerbake).

Most all of the series' episodes were built around these 4 adult characters and their problems with acceptance, status in the community and their relations with the opposite s-e-x. After all, just because one has been a Varsity Jock and B.M.O.C. doesn't mean that he wouldn't have a problem with acne or with finding the right girl as his mate.

Additionally, the series made good use of semi-regular and recurring characters. There's Hayden's Daughter from previous marriage, Kelly Fox (Clare Casey) and her totally non-athlete Boy Friend, Stuart Rosebrock (Kris Kam), who is a Theatre Major and a Mime. Athletic Director Howard Burleigh (Kenneth Kimmons) and wife Shirley (Georgia Engel) are always around as the "Per-Fect" couple. Howard's biggest foible his being the guy forever seeking proper respect as his position of Athletic Director.

And speaking of seeking recognition and respect, there are some problems wit the University's Band Director, Riley Pringel (Ray Birk). In one of our favourite episodes, Pringel attempts to have Luther's Basset Hound declared as an incurably viscous and dangerous to the community; because of a problem that occurred over mistaking a band leaders baton for hot dog. (Just see it!)

As for Luther, Jerry Van Dyke gets our award for hid "dark horse", "sleeper" of a character, who steals the show. In all of his years in Comedy and having Comic Roles in Films and TV, this is him at his very best.* He plays the 'Old Dumb Guy' to Bill Fagerbake's Dauber, a 'Young' Dumb Guy, but both characters are enjoyable, even lovable.

The setting of the mythical Minnesota State University served the series, its story lines and the cast quite well. There were plenty of "situations" developing that related to the team and its players; members of the "Screaming Eagles".

So then why did the Producers decide along about the 1995-96 season, in the series penultimate year on NBC, to change the locale? They went from coaching the fictitious Minnesota State University "Screaming Eagles" to the make believe Orlando Breakers of the National Football League. The routines were modified to fit into a situation that was in the NFL in sunny Florida, rather than North Woodsy Minnesota and the NCAA.

Perhaps the ratings on "COACH" were beginning to slip a little or something like that. Producer then decides to give it a little boost or bump in the Nielsens by a little transformation of setting. But obviously it didn't work.

It seems it never does. We remember similar situations with similar remedies in previous decades in such renowned situation comedy series. "OUR MISS BROOKS" (1952-56), McHALE's NAVY (1962-66) and "LAVERNE AND SHIRLEY" (1976-83) are all top rated sitcoms that followed the very same late series course correction in change of locale. In all cases, including that of "COACH", the change is done for the same reason, to give a renewed interest in its viewers. It's a sink or swim proposition.

In any case, no matter how popular and successful a series might be, it will still run its course, eventually running out of gas and passing on. Just like all of us.

NOTE: * Jerry Van Dyke said in an interview that in his time in show business he had once turned down the lead character of Gilligan in "GILLIGAN'S ISLAND"(1964-67) to accept the lead in "MY MOTHER THE CAR"(1965-66). And prior to "COACH", he seriously considered retirement! Thanks Jerry, we're all glad you didn't buy that rocking chair!

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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

I think "Coach" was one of TV's most underrated shows

Author: Rapper299 from United States
8 February 2007

I feel like their is shows that stand the test of time like a "I love Lucy", "All In the Family". However will "Coach" be remembered 15 even 25 years from now? In my opinion it should have consideration. Its was a well written show (for the most part) but most of all, it was the solid cast that kept the show strong for 8 out of the 10 years airing on ABC. Emmy's went to Craig T. Nelson, for his lead role as "Hayden Fox". also a well deserved Emmy Nod went to Jerry Van Dyke, who's very funny character as "Luther Van Damn. Im disappointed however, that its syndicated only at 5:00 and 6:00am. It was dropped fast from Nick @ Nite's prime time lineup in 2004 ,and i never understood why. Im still Anxiously awaiting the release of the show on DVD soon.

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Dauber Rules!!!

Author: Jdc102 from Southern California
16 July 2002

This show is a classic. In my opinion, its not quite as good as Seinfeld or Cheers, but its definately in the same place as the older episodes of Friends (Not anymore, the show is getting ridiculous and not funny..)and Wings. My favorite character is Dauber, the guy is just so dumb yet loveable and so is Luther and Hayden. The whole cast had great chemistry as did some of the supporting characters like Kelly's husband, Stewart. This was a great show and hopefully it will go to Nick-At-Nite, like I hear it will... Thanks..

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7 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Great sitcom

Author: Sm5454 (
24 April 2002

Coach Hayden Fox(Craig T. Nelson) and his friends Luther Van Dam(Jerry Van Dyke) and Michael 'Dauber' Dybinski(Bill Fagerbakke) try to lead the Screaming Eagles to greatness while keeping his relationship with Christine Armstrong intact.

This is a hilarious show about football and life. I loved the episodes where Luther lost his bird, Luther owns "Turtle World", Dauber loses the playbook, and the episode where Hayden lets Luther get some of the media's attention.

I watch this every weekday morning on TBS. I wished this show came out on DVD. A must watch for anybody who likes to laugh or likes football.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Coach: The game plan!

Author: JackBauer112 from Centralia, WA United States
8 November 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

When I first started watching Coach back in 1994-95 the show looks so promising to watch and I said I'd like to give it a shot. Well, it turns out that Coach became one of my favorite shows on TV. The first 7 seasons of Coach was set in the good old days of Minnesota and the good old Minnesota Screaming Beagles football team. The whole time they shot Coach in Minnesota, at least we saw for the first 4 seasons of Coach, we saw Hayden's daughter Kelly Fox (Played by "Point Pleasant's" Clare Carey), her boyfriend Stuart and also we saw Judy on the show. When Kelly came back in 1994, she smooched with Dauber (don't really know why), but at least it showed a lot of interest for the show. The big change was in the 1995-96 season when after 7 seasons at University of Minnesota, Hayden gets a job offer to head coach of the Orlando Breakers. In the last 2 seasons of the show, Hayden took the reigns as head Coach of the Orlando Breakers and moved out of the cabin that we saw for the 7 seasons of Coach, when they were at Orlando, the new head owner of the Breakers, Doris Sherman (Katherine Helmond) was cast and the Burleigh's Howard and Shirley were also bounded for Orlando. But for the last 2 seasons ABC slotted Coach on Saturday Nights, which is really great since I can watch it but because during the 1995-96 season ABC had one bug popular show called Drew Carey and that was why Coach dwindled after 200 episodes and 9 seasons. But the big ending to Coach was the 3 part finale "Leaving Orlando" In which the Foxes, the Burleighs, Dauber and Luther decided to retire back in Minnesota. Coach was a great show all throughout so my rating of Coach is

10/10! Great Coach game plan that goes in and out! Coach rules and is still one of my favorite shows on TV! The show now airs on the USA network and if you can't get up early to watch it, well, just Tivo it!

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:


Author: thepegsdave from Canada
22 September 2005

i am one of the biggest coach fans. I love the show. watch it every day. This was a show that didn't need swearing and nudity to make it funny. its a show that anyone can watch. Craig t nelson and jerry van Dyke, no one could beat em they were they best pairing in comedy. the show ran for 9 seasons and i didn't see the show until it was in reruns but when the season finale was on i could help shed a tear when Craig t nelson said good "good byes are never easy" but jerry van Dyke was funny at the end when he refused to believe the show was over. I have the out most respect for everyone on this show and i wish it could come back on TV just for 10 final episodes just to see how they are all doing now. the show will come on DVD soon i hope.

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