We Are Marshall (2006) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • When a plane crash claims the lives of members of the Marshall University football team and some of its fans, the team's new coach and his surviving players try to keep the football program alive.

  • In November, 1970, virtually the entire football team and coaches of Marshall University (Huntington, W.V.) die in a plane crash. That spring, led by Nate Ruffin, a player who was ill and missed the fatal flight, students rally to convince the board of governors to play the 1971 season. The college president, Don Dedman, must find a coach, who then must find players. They petition the NCAA to allow freshmen to play, and coach Jack Lengyel motivates and leads young players at the same time that he reexamines the Lombardi creed that winning is the only thing. The father and the fiancée of a player who died find strength to move on. Can Marshall win even one game in 1971?

  • On November 14, 1970 Marshall University's football team, its coaching staff and many fans were killed when the airplane they were traveling on crashed on the outskirts of their home town of Huntington, West Virginia. Virtually everyone in the community is in mourning and university president Don Dedman is torn when one of the players who did not travel with the team due to injury pushes to have the team reinstated. Dedman eventually agrees and they hire Jack Lengyel as the new head coach. Building a team from scratch is a daunting exercise requiring many in the community to examine their values. Based on a true story.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • The movie begins on a serious note with tragedy interspersed with sport. A plane crash kills players,coaches and fans of the Marshall University Football team.The entire town is devastated. The board decides to put an end to the program before Nate, a player (who was not on the flight), intervenes for the inevitable not to happen. He finds support in the entire town and also Prez Donald who goes all out to initiate something.

    After much hard work, he finds a coach, Jack, an all out family man who readies to take the reigns to show support. Jack persuades Red (Assnt Coach) to join him. Together they recruit coaches and embark on a journey to recruit players.All their efforts go in vain. That is when Jack pushes Prez for an exception to the association to have freshmen play in their team. This petition is approved and things look bright. Recruitments and practice go on and a team is readied. But, winning isn't easy. Marshall loses their first game and the town loses faith. Emotions erupt, but Jack stays calm. The rest is for you to watch......no spoilers here...............

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