Jonathan Coachman

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Jonathan Coachman
Coachman at WWE Fan Axxess in March 2003
Birth name Jonathan William Coachman
Born (1975-08-12) August 12, 1975 (age 41)[1]
McPherson, Kansas, United States[2]
Spouse(s) Amy Coachman
Children Kayana Coachman
JJ Coachman
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Jonathan Coachman
The Coach
Billed height 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)[1]
Billed weight 235 lb (107 kg)
Billed from Wichita, Kansas[3]
Debut December 23, 1999

Jonathan William Coachman[4] (born August 12, 1975), also known as "The Coach", is a sports interviewer who works for ESPN who currently interviews WWE personnel. He is a former professional wrestling color commentator and authority figure. He is also a former college basketball player, and football play-by-play announcer. He is best known for his work with WWE, where he spent nine years as a commentator, interviewer, and occasional wrestler.

He was recently a nationally syndicated afternoon drive host on ESPN Radio (Coach & Company), and serves as an anchor for SportsCenter on ESPN. The final weekday broadcast of Coach & Company was Friday, September 27, 2013. The show has since moved to Sundays.

Early life[edit]

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.[5]

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]

Coachman's father is a retired United Methodist minister. He is currently married and resides in Southington, Connecticut. Coachman uses his actual surname—he has never coached any sport.

World Wrestling Federation/Entertainment (1999–2008)[edit]

Backstage interviewer (1999–2003)[edit]

Coachman began his World Wrestling Federation career as an interviewer, commentator, and presenter.[3] 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.

Commentator and Assistant to Eric Bischoff (2003–2006)[edit]

The Coach made a heel turn against Shane McMahon on August 24, 2003 at SummerSlam.[6] After this he would have an on-screen role as the "lackey" to then General Manager of Raw, Eric Bischoff.[7] 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.[8] Later, Coachman achieved a singles victory on pay-per-view at Backlash, in 2004 by defeating Tajiri (albeit with the assistance of Garrison Cade).[9] 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.[10] 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.[11] At Taboo Tuesday, Batista faced off against Coach in a Street Fight. Vader and Goldust tried to interfere in the match, but Batista won.[12] 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.[13] Coachman would enter seventh during the match only to be eliminated almost immediately by The Big Show.[14]

Executive Assistant, interim General Manager (2006–2007)[edit]

During the April 24 edition of Raw, after Coachman hosted a Divas bikini contest, Viscera would come down to the ring and perform the Viscagra on Coachman.[15] During the commercial break of that show, still in the ring, he quit in protest of his treatment on Raw. On the May 19th edition of Heat, broadcast partner Todd Grisham announced that Coachman had quit, saying, "We've got announcers quitting left and right. It was Coach two weeks ago, Joey Styles this past week."[citation needed] On the May 29 edition of Raw, it was revealed that Mr. McMahon had hired Jonathan 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.[16] While Executive Assistant, Coachman, along with the McMahons, would feud with the reformed D-Generation X, and also have 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.[17]

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.[3] However, following a vicious 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.[18] On the October 1 edition of Raw, Regal returned as General Manager which resulted in Coachman being once again demoted to his prior rank.[19]

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 ended up being pinned by Hornswoggle after a Clothesline From Hell and a Tadpole Splash.[20]

A rivalry ensued, and during it, another Hornswoggle trap style event occurred. One night Coachman chased Hornswoggle all over the backstage area, and it eventually moved to the arena, where Hornswoggle performed his infamous "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)[edit]

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 deciding not to renew.

Part time appearances (2016–present)[edit]

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 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.


In 2008, Coachman left WWE to begin a career with ESPN.[21] 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.

Personal life[edit]

Coachman and his wife Amy have two children, a daughter, Kayana, and a son, JJ. Amy is a pharmaceutical representative for a company out of Ohio. Amy was a former college athlete, turned personal trainer.[22]

Other media[edit]

In addition to his WWE assignments, Coachman called various sports events on College Sports Television including football, basketball, baseball and softball, a cable and satellite network owned by CBS.[4] 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.[23]

In 2009, Coachman signed with ESPN as anchor of SportsCenter. In 2012, Coachman became the host of Coach & Company, a nationally syndicated radio program that airs on ESPN Radio in afternoon drive (Eastern Standard Time).

Coachman also lends his voice talents to the video game Black College Football Xperience: The Doug Williams Edition.

In wrestling[edit]

  • Wrestlers managed
  • "What You Gonna Do" by Victor Reid (September 2003–April 2006)
  • "Hard Hittin" by Homebwoi (June 2006–April 2008, March 28, 2016–present)


  1. ^ a b c d "Jonathan Coachman - Biography". IMDb. Retrieved 2007-09-07. 
  2. ^ "Johnathan Coachman Biography". Retrieved 2007-10-10. 
  3. ^ a b c WWE. "WWE Alumni profile". Retrieved 2012-03-18. 
  4. ^ a b " - Jonathan Coachman Biography". Retrieved 2007-09-07. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Pro Wrestling Illustrated presents: 2007 Wrestling almanac & book of facts". "Wrestling’s historical cards". Kappa Publishing. 2007. pp. 113–114. 
  7. ^ "August 25, 2003 Results". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2007-07-08. 
  8. ^ Martin, Finn (2003-10-22). "Power Slam Magazine, issue 112". "Boldberg grabs gold" (Unforgiven 2003). SW Publishing. pp. 22–23. 
  9. ^ "Pro Wrestling Illustrated presents: 2007 Wrestling almanac & book of facts". "Wrestling’s historical cards". Kappa Publishing. 2007. p. 115. 
  10. ^ "RAW - October 17, 2005 Results". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2007-07-08. 
  11. ^ "RAW - October 31, 2005 Results". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2007-07-08. 
  12. ^ "Pro Wrestling Illustrated presents: 2007 Wrestling almanac & book of facts". "Wrestling’s historical cards". Kappa Publishing. 2007. p. 116. 
  13. ^ "Pro Wrestling Illustrated, May 2006". Arena Reports. Kappa Publishing. May 2006. p. 130. 
  14. ^ "Pro Wrestling Illustrated presents: 2007 Wrestling almanac & book of facts". "Wrestling’s historical cards". Kappa Publishing. 2007. p. 119. 
  15. ^ "RAW - April 24, 2006 Results". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2007-07-08. 
  16. ^ "RAW - May 29, 2006 Results". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2007-07-08. 
  17. ^ "RAW - June 18, 2007 Results". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2007-07-08. 
  18. ^ Adkins, Greg. "Bulldozer-Slayer". WWE. Retrieved 2008-07-15. 
  19. ^ Adkins, Greg. "No Mercy for Phoenix". WWE. Retrieved 2008-07-15. 
  20. ^ Adkins, Greg. "Leprechaun-job". WWE. Retrieved 2008-03-24. 
  21. ^ [ Jim Ross blog confirming Coachman's departure for ESPN. He now lives on Southington, Connecticut.]
  22. ^ "Q&A: Jonathan Coachman on going from WWE to ESPN". 2011-02-19. Retrieved 2011-02-20. 
  23. ^ "Jonathan Coachman MSG Bio". Archived from the original on 2008-04-21. 
  24. ^ Archived Garrison Cade profile
  25. ^ 2004 RAW results

External links[edit]

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