Definitions

coach

coach

[kohch]

"Coach" was a TV sitcom that aired on ABC from February 28, 1989 to May 14, 1997. Over nine seasons, Universal Studios produced 200 half-hour episodes. The show centered around Hayden Fox, played by Craig T. Nelson, who coached the Division I college football team at Minnesota State University. His assistant was Luther Van Dam, played by Jerry Van Dyke, a bachelor with low self-esteem. Also assisting him was Michael "Dauber" Dybinski, played by Bill Fagerbakke, a football player who had not yet graduated despite his long enrollment. The show also centered around Coach Fox's relationship with his daughter Kelly, played by Clare Carey, who enrolled at Minnesota State to remain near him.

A single father, Fox was romantically involved with a TV news anchor named Christine Armstrong, played by Shelley Fabares. Eventually, the two of them got married and adopted a baby boy. In 1995, Coach Fox took a job as the head coach of the Orlando Breakers, an NFL expansion team. When he moved, he took his staff with him, including Luther and Dauber. At that time, Katherine Helmond joined the cast as Doris Sherman, the team's widowed owner. The show featured occasional guest appearances from real-life sports personalities, including Mike Ditka, Dick Butkus, Vlade Divac, Frank Gifford, Al Michaels, Johnny Unitas, Keyshawn Johnson and George Allen.

The show's setting, Minnesota State University, was a fictional university created after the University of Minnesota refused to allow the show to use its name or school colors. Series creator Barry Kemp, who graduated from the University of Iowa, paid homage to his alma mater by naming the main character in honor of long-time football coach Hayden Fry.

The series did well in the ratings for ABC for most of this run, often ranking in the Top 10 shows for the year as rated by Nielsen. However, the show slipped from 6th place in the 1993-1994 season to 53rd place the following season when ABC moved it from its regular Tuesday night slot to an hour before "Monday Night Football." Due to the fact that the game displaced the show on West Coast affiliates, many fans could not watch the show. Its ratings picked up the following season, but ABC moved it to Saturday nights in the fall of 1996 for its ninth and, ultimately, final season.

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