The comedy and drama of sports
Television has made many attempt at series with a sports backdrop, some good, some bad and some pretty ugly.
One of the best and most successful of them was “Coach.” Airing on ABC from 1989 to 1997, this half-hour sitcom cast former “Poltergeist” star Craig T. Nelson as Hayden Fox, head coach of the Minnesota State University Screaming Eagles football team.
Much of the comedy arose from his interactions with two of his assistants: diffident defensive coordinator and best friend Luther Van Dam (Jerry Van Dyke) and slow-witted special teams coach Michael “Dauber” Dybinski (Bill Fagerbakke), whose girlfriend was Judy Watkins (Pam Stone), the ladies basketball coach with whom Hayden was in a constant war of pranks.
On the homefront, his wife (in later seasons) was local TV news anchor Christine Armstrong (Shelley Fabares) and daughter Kelly (Clare Carey), who ran off and married Stu (Kris Kamm), a theater mime whom she eventually divorced.
Viewers can watch “Coach” weeknights on Antenna TV and streaming on the Roku Channel.