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"I ain't gonna die waitin' on salvation. As long as we still got guns, we gonna fight."
―Coach, in the teaser trailer.
"My friends call me Coach. I guess y'all can do the same."
―introducing himself

Coach (real name unknown) is one of the four playable Survivors in Left 4 Dead 2. He was a high-school health teacher and coordinator for the freshman football team before the Infection hit his hometown of Savannah. He is the oldest of the group and takes it upon himself to motivate his fellow Survivors.

Coach's facial features are based on Darnell Rice and he is voiced by Chad Coleman.

Official Description

Coach photo.png Age: 44
Hometown: Savannah, GA
Coach has a big heart and a healthy appetite, and a wicked swing with a chainsaw. After a knee injury ended his career as a defensive lineman in college, Coach salvaged his Physical Education degree (barely) and landed a job teaching health at the local high school in his hometown of Savannah.

Working as a defensive coordinator for the freshmen tour team might not have been the best path to a pro coaching career; but it’s come in pretty handy in guiding a group of Survivors to safety. Coach has watched his beloved hometown get ravaged by infected—now it’s time to deliver his own brand of Southern hospitality.[2]


WARNING: The following is conjecture and may not be considered canon.

Coach's Lobby Picture

Coach is the eldest, voice of reason, and authority of the Left 4 Dead 2 team, playing a similar role to Bill in Left 4 Dead. He comes across as a warm-hearted father figure with an optimistic attitude that is hard to disagree with. Despite his friendly demeanor, his experience as an actual coach makes him demand things of the other Survivors in a positive way - such as loudly encouraging them to get back on their feet when they are severely hurt and encouraging them to continue rather than give up. Coach can be seen as the father figure if not the official leader of the group. He appears to be a fairly pious man, at times leading prayers and reciting scripture to encourage the group.

Coach also respects both his fellow Survivors, and to a lesser extent, the Infected. This is shown if he is on critically low health, as he may say "They beat my ass fair and square." Like the other survivors, he dislikes CEDA because of their inability to deal with the Infected. This is shown several times throughout the storyline, as during The Swamp he thinks CEDA is not doing their "job" right if they have to be forced to get help from the swamp people, and during The Park when looking at the "Where is CEDA?" graffiti he may say "Good question, where in the hell is CEDA? Cause I'd like to shoot some of their asses." Coach also has an unhealthy obsession with food.

Coach also seems to be the "brains" of the Left 4 Dead 2 Survivors, as during Dark Carnival he convinces the team that if they use the pyrotechnics from the Midnight Riders' concert finale, it would get the helicopter pilot's attention. During Hard Rain, due to the Survivors accidentally leaving the gun bag (which had flares) behind with Virgil, he suggests using the Burger Tank sign to get his attention.

Relationships with other Survivors

  • Ellis
    Despite their age gap, Coach and Ellis have several shared interests: they both like the Midnight Riders, Jimmy Gibbs Jr., and Whispering Oaks Amusement Park. Coach is surprisingly patient with Ellis' naïve ways and often defends him from Nick's sarcasm. Both are also native Georgians (same hometown), which could contribute to their friendliness with each other. Despite this, Coach will often remind Ellis to focus whenever the mechanic gets off track.[3]
  • Nick
    Nick and Coach have the most antagonistic relationship in the game, similar to that of Francis and Bill in Left 4 Dead. What appears to rile Coach the most is that Nick is the opposite of the cooperative "team player" with whom he is most comfortable working with. Nick will say things just to needle Coach and Ellis (e.g. claiming that Jimmy Gibbs, Jr. "looks like an asshole" and making disparaging rejoinders about Coach's happy childhood memories at Whispering Oaks Amusement Park).[4] When they first meet, Coach might admonish Nick to "(not) take the Lord's name in vain", to which Nick responds sarcastically. Despite all this, Coach's optimism is often less down-to-earth as Nick's; for example, Nick classifies Coach's remark about the abandoned vehicles in Dark Carnival as "…one theory."[5]
    Notwithstanding their passive-aggressive mutual dislike, both will seem unhappy when the other dies. On Coach's death, Nick may utter "Goddammit, Coach, what did you leave me with…?", showing that despite his attitude, he regards Coach as having a leadership role in the group. Over the course of the events, they both become less disrespectful toward each other, though Nick still often teases Coach about his weight and fondness for cheeseburgers and chocolate. Coach is the one who steps in when Nick's pessimism crosses the line during the campaigns. When Nick sees corpses at a military checkpoint and tells the group that the military is shooting people, Coach snaps and asks him "How does being so right feel, Nick?", Nick replies "Not good."
  • Rochelle
    Rochelle and Coach like one another in a way that somewhat mirrors Zoey's and Bill's relationship in Left 4 Dead. They interact in a consistently friendly way and their personalities fully complement each other. They are thus very unhappy to see the other die. Coach often refers to Rochelle as "little sister", meaning he feels protective of her.[6]
  • Francis
    Coach and Francis do not have much interaction, but when Coach talks to him or when Francis tosses an item down to Coach in the finale, they will sound friendly. In one interaction between the two, Francis will ask Rochelle if Coach is her dad, to which Coach responds in a somewhat offended manner ("What?"), while Rochelle teases him for it. However, Coach (presumably on the basis of his sporting and team management talent and experience) senses something unsettling about Francis and does not seem to trust him very much; for example, he voices the possibility that Francis may have stolen Jimmy Gibbs, Jr.'s car while they were gone.
  • Zoey
    There is little interaction between the two. Coach teases Ellis about meeting her, telling him to stop being so nervous and playfully joking about his interest in her. He also compliments her when she kills a Special Infected during The Passing finale.
  • Louis
    Coach and Louis seem to understand each other's situation quite well. Since both are optimists and want to keep in good spirits. Louis wishes Coach luck and Coach invites Louis (and the other Survivors) to join up with his group and go to New Orleans together, an offer Louis politely declines.


See: Coach/Quotes


  • Chocolate Helicopter Easter egg

    In the Zombie Survival Guide trailer, Coach can be seen eating a bar of chocolate branded "Chocolate Helicopters" as seen on the box by Rochelle. This explains the inspiration for Nick's joke later on; commenting on Coach's eating habits, and his favorite brand of chocolate. Alternatively, the brand name of the chocolate bar could be a retroactive reference to Nick's comment, not the other way around.
  • Much like Ellis, he too is a fan of the Midnight Riders and claims to have all of their albums - "even their new stuff that ain't no good." He will even sing parts of the song Midnight Ride when next to the microphone in The Concert and sing the lyrics "A suitcase full of pistols and money" from the song One Bad Man upon seeing it in The Passing.
  • Bill and Coach have many things in common. According to their back-stories, both Bill and Coach have knee injuries. They also are the older, "mentor" type in their group, and have a dislike for climbing stairs. On top of that, they both have a different physical disadvantage. Bill's disadvantage is that he's older than anyone out of the two groups. On the other hand, Coach's disadvantage is that he is overweight, preventing him from doing similar things like Bill.
  • Coach's actual first or last name is never identified, and he is simply referred to as "coach" in the game files. All he has ever said on the matter was, "My friends call me Coach."
    • If Coach dies and if Rochelle is near his body, she may ask if "Coach" is his first or last name.
  • Similar to Francis' lack of gloves, bandages were seen on Coach's head on some of the posters, though his in-game model did not have any (most prominently seen in Dark Carnival's poster. An exception would be The Parish). Also, the color of his shirt in some of the posters resembles his beta appearance more than his in-game appearance.
  • In Coach's official screenshot, the fans in the bleachers are just cleaned up models of Common Infected. The stadium in the background also appears to be The Peach Pit.
  • When picking up a Crowbar, Coach may ask if there are any crates around. This is likely a reference to Half-Life 2, another Valve game, in which the protagonist is armed with a crowbar.
  • Coach has many tattoos, as evidenced in The Passing, when the Survivors pass through a tattoo shop.[7]
  • Coach possibly has the most errors in speech coding out of any Survivor.
    • If one of the Survivors dies, he may say "Stay close, we're a party of two", even if there are two other Survivors with him.
    • Coach will sometimes call Rochelle "boy" as if he were talking to Nick or Ellis. Similarly, when a Jockey rides Rochelle, Coach may say "That ain't right for a man to be ridden like that", though he could be referring to a human in general.
    • If Nick or Rochelle shoots Coach, he may reply with "Young'un, stop that shit.", though Ellis is the youngest in the group, and Nick and Rochelle are both much older than him. Also, when using the "Look!" command on Survivors, Coach calls Ellis "Young'un", but not Nick or Rochelle.
    • Also, if Rochelle kills a Special Infected, he might say "Alright boy, you got it now!", even though Rochelle is female.
    • On the first chapter of Dead Center, other Survivors will call him Coach even though he hasn't told them his nickname yet, unlike any other Survivors who are just called things like "sir," "miss," etc. Although this may be them assuming his prior career, coincidentally calling him his nickname.
    • When reviving a Survivor, he will say "Get your ass up! Get up!"; in the captions, it will say "Get you ass up! Get up!"
  • Coach has a great love of food. In some instances in the Mall, Coach will ask his fellow Survivors to say a prayer, hoping that the food court would be open. When initially reaching the food court, Coach will say, "If I see a zombie running at me with a sample tray, I ain't shootin' it." While at Whispering Oaks Amusement Park, he talks about cotton candy and how it is the king of the fair foods, and wanting to find a Burger Tank in the park. When the Survivors enter the Burger Tank, he wished it was open and said he wanted a BBQ Bacon Burger, large order of fries, an orange soda with no ice, and a piece of hot apple pie. He may also lament that restaurants and food courts are not open, due to the Infected.
  • Coach swears the most out of the Left 4 Dead 2 Survivors. For example; if he is hit by Spitter acid, he may say "Shit! That long-necked bitch hit me!"
  • Coach's football helmet from the Beta can be unlocked as an accessory in Taito's arcade port Left 4 Dead: Survivors.



  1. "...a 265 pound high school coach..." from developer commentary here.
  2. http://www.l4d.com/survivors/coach/
  3. Coach: "Ellis, keep your mind on the cans. Not the girl."
  4. Coach: "Hey, Whisperin' Oaks! Shit, I used to go there when I was a kid!"
    Nick: "Oh, good. Now we can die there as adults!"
  5. Nick: These abandoned cars go on for miles."
    Coach: "Well, maybe they left 'em when they got rescued!"
    Nick: "That's…one theory."
  6. Coach: "Damn… I should've tried to protect you more."
  7. dlc1_c6m2_tattoo01.wav
The Survivors
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Coach hud.PNG