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Jonathan Coachman
Coachman in March 2003
Birth nameJonathan William Coachman
Born (1973-08-12) August 12, 1973 (age 47)[1][2]
McPherson, Kansas, United States[3]
Amy Coachman
(m. 1999)
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s)Jonathan Coachman
The Coach
Billed height6 ft 3 in (191 cm)[1]
Billed weight235 lb (107 kg)
Billed fromWichita, Kansas[4]
DebutDecember 23, 1999

Jonathan William Coachman[5] (born August 12, 1973), also known as "The Coach", is an American sports interviewer, analyst and professional wrestling personality best known for his time at WWE as the pre-show host for pay-per-views. He was previously the interim General Manager of Raw. Coachman's previous run with the company lasted nine years. He returned to the promotion in January 2018. He is also a former college basketball player, and football play-by-play announcer.

Early life

Before embarking on an announcing career in professional wrestling, Coachman was a high school basketball player. After two state basketball championships at McPherson High School in McPherson, Kansas, Coachman moved across town to continue playing for McPherson College.[1] While at McPherson, Coachman's interests included participating in theatre, serving as the sports editor for the school newspaper, and doing play-by-play and color commentary for the local football and basketball radio broadcasts. Coachman was also a sports reporter/anchor at KAKE in Wichita, Kansas, and also lived for a time in Newton Falls, Ohio, frequently attending Youngstown State Penguins basketball games.[6]

Coachman also starred in many instructional videos used for technical education classrooms of middle schools and high schools. One set of videos featured "Coach" instructing people on flight navigation and the basics of airplanes. He also had a "boyfriend-in-a-box" modeled after him during college. Coachman also worked for local Kansas City news station KMBC-TV, where he was a correspondent for Larry King Live's coverage of Owen Hart's death in May 1999.[1]

Professional wrestling career

World Wrestling Federation/Entertainment/WWE

Backstage interviewer (1999–2003)

Coachman began his World Wrestling Federation (WWF) career as an interviewer, commentator, and presenter.[4] Coachman was also involved in occasional segments with The Rock, in which The Rock attempted to humiliate Coachman in any form possible, whether it was forcing him to sing, dance, or smile for the camera. The Rock also accused Coachman of performing rather lewd activities with farm animals.

During winter of 2001, Coachman was pressed into service as a sideline reporter for regional telecasts of the WWF-owned XFL, initially serving on the same broadcast team as WWF commentators Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler.

Commentator and Assistant to Eric Bischoff (2003–2006)

The Coach made a heel turn against Shane McMahon on August 24, 2003 at SummerSlam.[7] After this he would have an on-screen role as the "lackey" to then General Manager of Raw, Eric Bischoff.[8] Coachman continued to work as a heel and later teamed up with his fellow WWE Heat announcer Al Snow in a storyline feud against the Raw announce team, Jerry Lawler and Jim Ross. This feud would even see the pair win the right to announce the main show from Ross and Lawler at one point.[9] Later, Coachman achieved a singles victory on pay-per-view at Backlash, in 2004 by defeating Tajiri (albeit with the assistance of Garrison Cade).[10] Coachman would go on to host the 2004 and 2005 Raw Diva Searches. Later, Coach would gain his own column in the now defunct Raw Magazine ("Coach's Corner") and his own webcast on ("CoachCast"). Coachman was officially added as the third member to the Raw broadcast team and signed a multi-year contract with WWE in 2005.

During October 2005, Coach was involved in an angle involving the McMahon Family publicly firing Jim Ross due to the actions of Ross's friend, Steve Austin. The firing of Ross gave Coach the position of lead announcer on Raw.[11] The storyline would culminate in a match at Taboo Tuesday where Austin faced Coach in a match with both Austin's and Ross's jobs on the line. Though the match was originally scheduled to be Austin versus the Coach, Austin refused to participate because of issues he had with the storyline (the original story is said to have called for Austin to lose following a run-in by the returning Mark Henry). World Heavyweight Champion Batista was renamed the opponent to play up the SmackDown! vs. Raw storylines. On the October 31, 2005 edition of Raw, Batista came out and accepted the match only to be attacked by Coach's backup, the returning Goldust and Vader.[12] At Taboo Tuesday, Batista faced off against Coach in a Street Fight. Vader and Goldust tried to interfere in the match, but Batista won.[13] However, no mention of the Jim Ross stipulation was ever mentioned after the match.

Former ECW announcer Joey Styles soon replaced Coach in a move that became permanent despite Coach's on-air protestations that Styles' presence was temporary. Coach retained a prominent role on the Raw announcing team as the heel representative of a three-man booth with Styles, the play-by-play man, and Jerry "The King" Lawler, the babyface color commentator.

On the January 23, 2006 edition of Raw, Coach defeated Lawler to win the last Raw spot in the Royal Rumble match via interference from the debuting Spirit Squad.[14] Coachman would enter seventh during the match only to be eliminated almost immediately by The Big Show.[15]

Executive Assistant and Interim General Manager (2006–2007)

During the April 24 edition of Raw, after Coachman hosted a Divas bikini contest, Viscera came down to the ring and performed the Viscagra on Coachman.[16] During the commercial break of that show, still in the ring, he quit in protest of his treatment on Raw. On the May 29 edition of Raw, it was revealed that Mr. McMahon had hired Coachman under the new position of McMahon's Executive Assistant; to aid McMahon in the daily running of the Raw brand, and actually acted as the General Manager when the McMahons were absent.[17] While Executive Assistant, Coachman, along with the McMahons, feuded with the reformed D-Generation X and also had issues with John Cena. On June 18, 2007, Coachman was officially named Interim General Manager of Raw by the McMahon Family following the kayfabe death of Vince McMahon in a limo explosion.[18]

On the August 6, 2007 edition of Raw, William Regal became the new General Manager on the Raw brand after winning a battle royal featuring other participants from the Raw roster. As a result, Coachman was removed from his position as Interim General Manager and became Regal's new assistant.[4] However, following a kayfabe assault by John Cena on Regal during the September 3 edition of Raw, Regal had to be temporarily relieved of his duties as General Manager at which point Coachman was once again named interim General Manager of Raw until Regal was fit to resume his role.[19] On the October 1 edition of Raw, Regal returned as General Manager which resulted in Coachman being once again demoted to his prior rank.[20]

On the December 3, 2007 edition of Raw, Coach was in a No DQ Handicap match with Carlito against Hornswoggle, with whom he had been having problems. However, Hornswoggle had paid the APA to protect him during the match. Coachman was pinned by Hornswoggle after a Clothesline from Hell and a Tadpole Splash.[21]

A rivalry ensued and one night Coachman chased Hornswoggle all over the backstage area, and it eventually moved to the arena, where Hornswoggle performed his "hide under the ring" trick to get away. Coachman moved to the other side of the ring and pulled out a detonator, much to the surprise of Jim Ross. He attempted to activate the detonator twice, but nothing happened. He then moved under the ring to check the explosives, and Hornswoggle came out from under the ring, and successfully detonated the explosives, causing smoke to appear from under the ring, and the cameras to make TV screens change color, from gray to rainbow, and according to JR, the building shook. Coachman was charred and unable to move.

SmackDown commentator and departure (2008)

On the January 4, 2008 episode of SmackDown!, Coachman would replace John "Bradshaw" Layfield, who rejoined Raw the previous week, on commentary alongside Michael Cole. Later that year in June, Coachman's contract expired after he decided not to renew it.

Return to WWE

Part-time appearances (2016–2018)

On March 25, 2016, Coachman made a special appearance during WWE's live event held at Madison Square Garden. On the March 28 episode of Raw, Coachman returned to WWE TV for the first time in almost 8 years, cutting a promo with The New Day. Coachman would also announce that SportsCenter would be live leading up to WrestleMania 32 on April 3. On the January 22, 2018, episode of Raw 25 Years, Coachman would appear in a backstage segment with Raw general manager Kurt Angle and other past WWE talent, Harvey Wippleman, The Brooklyn Brawler, Theodore Long, Brother Love and The Boogeyman.

Raw commentator and Pre-show host (2018)

On January 29, 2018, Coachman re-signed with WWE, joining the Raw commentary team alongside Michael Cole and Corey Graves, replacing Booker T as color commentator.[22] On September 10, Coachman would leave the Raw commentary team, being replaced by Renee Young, with Coachman becoming the new pre-show panel host for pay-per-views.

Coachman also serves as pregame host for the 2020 incarnation of the XFL.[23]

Sports broadcasting career

ESPN (2008–2017)

In 2008, Coachman left WWE to begin a career with ESPN.[24] Starting in mid-2015, Coachman began presenting highlights of WWE's best moments of the week on ESPN, and having weekly sitdown interviews with WWE wrestlers on SportsCenter. In October 2017, Coachman announced via his Periscope that his contract at ESPN had expired, thus confirming his departure from the network.

NBC Sports Group (2018–present)

As WWE has a television deal with NBCUniversal, in 2018, he was named play-by-play announcer for the NBC-owned World Long Drive Championship. Coachman is also a commentator for PGA Tour Live, which is an NBC Sports Gold subscription service providing additional coverage of golf tournaments.

Personal life

Coachman and his wife Amy have two children. Amy is a former college athlete, and a personal trainer.[25]

Other media

In addition to his WWE assignments, Coachman called various sports events on College Sports Television, a cable and satellite network owned by CBS, including football, basketball, baseball and softball.[5] He also called college basketball for CN8. In addition, Coachman served as the part-time play-by-play announcer for the WNBA's New York Liberty on the MSG Network, as well as the studio host for New York Knicks games. He also hosted the weekly MSG program MSG, NY.[26]

In 2009, Coachman signed with ESPN as anchor of SportsCenter. In 2012, he became the host of Coach & Company, a nationally syndicated radio program that airs on ESPN Radio.

Coachman also lends his voice talents to the video games Black College Football Xperience: The Doug Williams Edition, Madden NFL 19, Madden NFL 20, and Madden NFL 21.

Awards and accomplishments


  1. ^ a b c d "Jonathan Coachman – Biography". IMDb. Retrieved 2007-09-07.
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Johnathan Coachman Biography". Retrieved 2007-10-10.
  4. ^ a b c "Jonathan Coachman profile". WWE. Retrieved 2012-03-18.
  5. ^ a b " – Jonathan Coachman Biography". Archived from the original on 2007-09-29. Retrieved 2007-09-07.
  6. ^ Jonathan Coachman [@TheCoachrules] (5 January 2016). "I lived in Newton falls for a short time so have been to games at YSU several times" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  7. ^ "Pro Wrestling Illustrated presents: 2007 Wrestling almanac & book of facts". "Wrestling's historical cards". Kappa Publishing. 2007. pp. 113–114.
  8. ^ "August 25, 2003 Results". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2007-07-08.
  9. ^ Martin, Finn (2003-10-22). "Power Slam Magazine, issue 112". "Boldberg grabs gold" (Unforgiven 2003). SW Publishing. pp. 22–23.
  10. ^ "Pro Wrestling Illustrated presents: 2007 Wrestling almanac & book of facts". "Wrestling's historical cards". Kappa Publishing. 2007. p. 115.
  11. ^ "RAW - October 17, 2005 Results". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2007-07-08.
  12. ^ "RAW - October 31, 2005 Results". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2007-07-08.
  13. ^ "Pro Wrestling Illustrated presents: 2007 Wrestling almanac & book of facts". "Wrestling's historical cards". Kappa Publishing. 2007. p. 116.
  14. ^ "Pro Wrestling Illustrated, May 2006". Arena Reports. Kappa Publishing. May 2006. p. 130.
  15. ^ "Pro Wrestling Illustrated presents: 2007 Wrestling almanac & book of facts". "Wrestling's historical cards". Kappa Publishing. 2007. p. 119.
  16. ^ "RAW - April 24, 2006 Results". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2007-07-08.
  17. ^ "RAW - May 29, 2006 Results". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2007-07-08.
  18. ^ "RAW - June 18, 2007 Results". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2007-07-08.
  19. ^ Adkins, Greg. "Bulldozer-Slayer". WWE. Retrieved 2008-07-15.
  20. ^ Adkins, Greg. "No Mercy for Phoenix". WWE. Retrieved 2008-07-15.
  21. ^ Adkins, Greg. "Leprechaun-job". WWE. Retrieved 2008-03-24.
  22. ^ "Jonathan Coachman signs with WWE, joins Raw announce team tonight". WWE. Retrieved 2018-01-29.
  23. ^ The XFL Pregame: Week 2. XFL official YouTube account (February 15, 2020). Retrieved February 15, 2020.
  24. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-09-29. Retrieved 2008-08-21.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) [Jim Ross blog confirming Coachman's departure for ESPN. He now lives on Southington, Connecticut.]
  25. ^ "Q&A: Jonathan Coachman on going from WWE to ESPN". 2011-02-19. Retrieved 2011-02-20.
  26. ^ "Jonathan Coachman MSG Bio". Archived from the original on 2008-04-21.
  27. ^ Stoughton, Derek (March 22, 2019). "2018 Wrestling Observer Newsletter Awards Revealed". Wrestling Rumors. Retrieved March 23, 2019.
  28. ^ "BONUS SHOW: Wrestling Observer Newsletter Awards". Post Wrestling. March 17, 2019. Retrieved March 23, 2019.
Preceded by
Jim Ross
Monday Night Raw Lead Announcer
Succeeded by
Joey Styles
Preceded by
Jim Ross
Monday Night Raw Lead Announcer
Succeeded by
Jim Ross