The Top Five Fictional Coaches from TV Shows

Sometimes a coach inspires, other times they yell and scream at their players for one reason or another. But the one difference between fictional coaches on TV and those in the movies is that those on TV have only 30 to 60 minutes work through a problem and come up with a resolution. True, it’s more of a problem for the writers than the actors, but the actors have to make it believable and give some credence to the dialogue and emotions that are being conveyed by the show. TV coaches often have a harder job simply because they need to be more convincing in less time.

Here are our picks for the top five fictional TV coaches

Craig T. Nelson as Coach Fox – Coach

He was beset on all sides by issues. He had a wife that wasn’t that into football, a team that had definitely seen better days, and a coaching staff that was more prone to screwing up than actually getting the job done. The absolute hilarity of the show was often punctuated by a serious moment that was to be found between one character or another, and made for a good counterpoint that allowed each character the type of development they needed.

Dot-Marie Jones as Coach Shannon Beiste – Glee

As a coach she was seen to be a beast, someone you didn’t want to mess with even on your best day. As a character and a person she was actually seen to be a big softie. Whichever side she showed it was obvious that she was integral part of the show and a very valued character.

Eric Stonestreet as Cam Tucker – Modern Family

Cam knows football, he just doesn’t know how to keep his dramatic nature down all the time. While he’s one of the more colorful characters on the show, as a football coach he’s shown that he has the ability and the know how, he just needs the restraint from time to time. If nothing else, he’s amusing to watch right up until he sees fit to take the game a little too seriously. Keep in mind he coaches junior high, not exactly the road to college ball.

Bill Fagebakke as Dauber Dybinski – Coach

Poor Dauber. He was easily one of the most beloved characters on the show, but he also got the least amount of respect it seemed, and on a continual basis. Dauber was a little slow on the uptake most times, but was smart enough to be an assistant coach, largely because he used to be a player and knew what it took to get the job done. As a coach however the transition still seems to be happening throughout his time on the show.

Kyle Chandler as Eric Taylor – Friday Night Lights

Seen as one of the all time best TV coaches, Chandler accepted the role of Eric Taylor and hit the ground running. Taylor was a coach doing the best he could when a conspiracy caused him to lose his job as the head coach of Dillon High School football team. Eventually he would become the coach of East Dillon High School’s football team and begin from the ground up, a daunting prospect for any coach.


TV coaches are an abundant lot, but so few of them ever get any real recognition that finding them is a little difficult. The greatest ones have learned how to make what they do count and get noticed for their talent rather than their role.

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