Reunions are a dime a dozen nowadays, particularly on television, with audiences longing for nostalgia in however they can get it and the latest comes from the sports sitcom Coach. Craig T. Nelson (who played Coach Hayden Fox on the original ABC series) stars on CBS' Young Sheldon as Coach Dale Ballard and is joined by former co-star Bill Fagerbakke, who played defensive coordinator Dauber Dybinski. In Young Sheldon, Fagerbakke plays Jake, a sheriff friend of Dale. The exclusive scene on TVLine shows Dale and Jake meeting at a bar.
After Jake greets Dale, Dale thanks him for coming out. After Jake orders a beer, he asks if he "arrested anybody fun lately?" Jake responds, "A party clown, but what he was doing was not fun." Dale asks, "Do I want to know?" "Not if you want to sleep tonight." Jake counters to ask, "What's up with you? Still dating that Connie (Annie Potts)?" Dale explains that he still is and asks about her interest in backroom slot machines before the two end up circling about the clown Jake took in.
"It's been wonderful having Bill Fagerbakke come play with us," said Young Sheldon executive producer Steve Molaro. "Craig T. was thrilled to work with Bill again. When I touched base with Craig about it beforehand, he was immediately into it. Having watched them on Coach for so long, it was a treat to get to see them work together. Even though they are playing different characters, that chemistry is so natural. They happened to be playing two old friends, catching up in a bar — so some of that was happening in real life as well. Plus, getting to work with the voice of Patrick Star from SpongeBob is a huge bonus in my book."
Nelson and Fagerbakke appeared in all 199 episodes of all nine seasons (1989-1997) on the ABC series garnering Emmys for Nelson for Best Lead Actor in a Comedy Series in 1992 and Best Guest Actor honors for Tim Conway in 1996. The series focuses on Nelson's Fox as head coach of a university football team with Fagerbakke and Jerry Van Dyke playing his assistant coaches. Created by Barry Kemp, Coach also starred Shelley Fabares, Clare Carey, and Kenneth Kimmins. The final seasons had the staff move to a fictional NFL expansion team in Orlando, Florida. The two Coach stars previously appeared together in an episode of the CBS series The District 17 years ago. There were plans for a Coach revival for the NBC Universal streamer Peacock that would have picked up 18 years after the ABC finale. In the pilot, Hayden interrupted his retirement to become assistant coach to his own grown son Tim ( Andrew Ridings), the head coach at an Ivy League school in Pennsylvania. Fagerbakke and Pam Stone were set to reprise their roles as now-married Dauber and Judy, but Fabares' Christine was poised to be killed off. Unfortunately, plans fizzled on the 13-episode series.