Coach Z

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Character: Coach Z
watch Coach Z's character video Marzipan Bubs
Coach Z
He has more than two problems.
Domicile Locker Room
Voiced by Matt Chapman
Debut Where My Hat Is At?
Complete Filmography
Related Articles
Character Video
Character Relationships
Character Evolution
Other Costumes
3D Variation
"Hey, watch where y'er pointin' that 3D!"

Coach Z is the "coach" of the residents of Free Country, USA, though it is unclear exactly which sports he coaches. While occasionally tiresome, and burdened with "more than two" socially awkward problems, he is always ready to offer encouragement and is rarely critical of anyone.


[edit] Characterization

Coach Z can often be found at the gymnasium or race track (indeed, he seems to live in the accompanying locker room), providing vague coaching or similar involvement with various athletics. When giving advice, he tends to start with the phrase "You can't just rush into the score zone", which has lost its meaning through time. In addition to working as a coach, Coach Z works with Homestar Runner and Bubs as the apparent local law enforcement in Free Country, USA. Coach Z is also the janitor at the office where Homestar and Strong Bad work. He is paid on hourly wage and is clearly jealous that Strong Bad is paid on salary. He has also spent time dressed as the Blubb-O's Drive-Thru Whale mascot. Coach Z owns four Tony awards, suggesting that he may have a background in theater. Despite his numerous jobs, Coach Z has trouble managing his money, causing his electricity to be shut off each year.

Coach Z is a fan of hip hop and rap music, particularly the Wu-Tang Clan. He fancies himself a rapper as well: he released the single "These Peoples Try to Fade Me", which appeared on Strong Bad Sings and Other Type Hits; his solo album "The Z Is All Up Ins", featuring the smash hit "Hip Hop Dance"; and his own rap song, "Rap Song" (featuring Peacey P and Tenerence Love). Although his usual rapping prowess consists mainly of "count[ing] to two over and over again", as explained in nightlife, he once had a very successful career during his days in the Two-O Duo. More recent works such as "Loading Screens" and "Fish Eye Lens" may indicate that his rap skills are starting to improve.

Over the hill?

Coach Z's age is somewhat ambiguous, though he typically is portrayed as older than characters like Strong Bad and Homestar: he appears to be grown up when Strong Bad was a kid in the email stand-up as well as appearing as an adult in 1974 in the 'toon Decemberween short shorts; in caffeine, Strong Sad's slaps provoke him to cry out "I'm just an old man!"; in slumber party, Strong Bad refers to him, Bubs, and The King of Town as "older kids"; and while narrating an interaction between Coach Z and Bubs in narrator, Strong Bad labels them both as "weird old men".

Coach Z and Bubs had a falling out at one point, as Fall Float Parade shows us; Bubs makes a "Coach Z, you jerk!" float for the parade, and Coach Z retaliates by saying "Serves him right, then" when Strong Mad steals his concession stand. In the email narrator, it was shown that they had made-up and returned to having boring conversations about Bubs's napkins. However, in Most In The Graveyard, when it is implied that Coach Z fancies Bubs' sister, Bubs beats him up. In the same toon, it is also revealed that Coach Z and Bubs may actually be very distant cousins, although Bubs finds this hard to believe.

[edit] "More than two problems"

See main article: Coach Z's Problems
An unshaven Coach Z talking about his butt.

As Coach Z himself is not afraid to admit, he's got more than two problems. Despite being a coach, he doesn't know what a basketball is, as indicated in secret recipes. It has been strongly implied that he has a crush on Marzipan, and he has occasionally made inappropriate comments about her; one occasion on her answering machine when he was drunk, and another during the commercial break of the 4Tst annual Fall Float Parade. In diorama, Coach Z even refers to Marzipan as his "gorgeous girlfriend". Coach Z also seems to have mental and gender confusion problems, as evidenced by the time he spent "talking to his parents" on a disconnected telephone, and claiming to be a mother in garage sale. He has even stated on one occasion that he sometimes "forgets what's real, and what's just in [his] head". He has an apparent fixation with butts, and he seems to have a habit of butt-patting. He also has a slight obsession with ointments and body creams, like using 'Blue Star Ointment' to scare people in Halloween Fairstival. Many characters see him as a nuisance. Even Homestar treated Coach Z with contempt in Decemberween Short Shorts, quickly refusing to allow Coach Z to come to his house for Decemberween.

[edit] Accent

See main article: Coach Z's Accent

Coach Z has great difficulty pronouncing certain words, such as "job" (as shown in the "A Jorb Well Done" cartoon); the most commonly mispronounced sounds are long e (e.g. The Cheat/"The Chort") and the short o (job/"jaerb"), which both come out as an "or" or "aer".

Occasionally, toons will imply that Coach Z is either deliberately playing up or entirely faking this manner of speech.

[edit] Character Design and Conception

See also Coach Z Evolution
"The 74s was the prime of my datin' year!"

From a 2003 interview with UMFM:

MATT CHAPMAN: [Coach Z's accent] came from a depressing Midwesterner voice that me and some friends would do in college.
KEVIN SCOTT: With rapper lingo thrown in for good measure.
MATT: We thought that was the funniest part: here's this guy that's just this very white bread, blue-collar sounding dude – but he's down with old school hip hop, and up on the latest in hip hop.

Coach Z's name is derived from a nickname given to Craig Zobel — though Zobel was not particularly into sports, college friend Bill Kramer called him "Coach Z". Around the same time, Mike Chapman was writing the book Where My Hat Is At? and needed a coach character. With Zobel's nickname in mind, the character was dubbed "Coach Zee", though his name was simplified to "Z" after this initial appearance.

The character's distinctive voice is derived from many regional American accents — most prominently Upper Midwestern, Midland, and Eastern New England — and further exaggerated for comedic effect. Inspiration comes from both Indiana relatives and a funny voice Matt Chapman would use.

[edit] Appearance

Coach Z wears a purple baseball cap with a blue bill. His head is a white sphere with light gray circles for eyes. Coach Z lacks a visible nose and mouth, but is able to talk, eat, and spit with ease. He wears a large, gold "Z" medallion on his torso. His body is a bright green color, which is ambiguously either his skin or a body suit. His sweatpants waistband, "mittens", and removing a skin-tight suit have been mentioned; alternatively, he has been shown to wear a bathing suit or a Halloween costume over the green. He has long arms and large feet, but very short legs.

[edit] Character Video Transcript

See main article: Coach Z's Character Video

COACH Z: {looking slightly offscreen} Is that thing on? {turns to the camera lens} Hey there, ho there! I'm the Coach! The Coach Z, I'd guess you'd call me. Or plain old Coach is fine, seein' as I'm the only one around, so, probably no one else would answer to that. You say "Hey Coach!", and I'd say "Yeah?" or... "That's me!" or... "Hoo-hah!" {waves his arms in the air} Any one of those. There's rumors flyin' around that I sleep in one of these lockers, {gestures to the lockers behind him} but uh, that's just not true. I usually crash on this bench here. {gestures to the bench behind him} My back's not in real good condition. {rubs his back} And now, I'd like to perform my hip-hop single, "These peoples try to fade me". {holds up a microphone, begins to sing} A one-two, a one-two—!

HOMESTAR RUNNER: {appears in front of camera} Sorry. We're all out of tape.

[edit] Discography

"I'm about to have a dope rhyme attack!"

[edit] As a member of Two-O Duo

"One, two, one-one two."
  • "Lets's TP The Stick"
  • "Throwing Rocks Through Ol' Man Marzipan's Windows"
  • "Stealin' Stuff From My Own Dang Store"
  • "Kick the Chort"

[edit] Features

[edit] Fun Facts

The emblem's a bone?
  • According to the Old Characters Page, Coach Z wasn't much of a coach at the time, and he just added the title because it sounded "cooler than just Z". He has been seen coaching on numerous occasions since then, though his talent at it is still dubious at best.
  • According to trading cards, Coach Z gave 23 butt pats in 1984 (22 to Homestar, 1 to himself).
  • Strong Bad referred to Coach Z as "Green Bubs" in the email road trip.
  • In Date Nite he is shown without his hat and wearing hair curlers, despite a lack of visible hair.
  • On Coach Z's emblem, the darker blue shine streak under the gold Z makes a backwards Z formation.
  • Though not very expressive usually, later toons gave Coach Z an "angry eyes" expression (seen in Kick-A-Ball and hremail 3184).

[edit] Relationships

Main article: Character Relationships

[edit] Variations

"You simpleton!"

[edit] Halloween Costumes

In each Homestar Runner Halloween special, Coach Z has dressed up as something rap or hip-hop-related, or in the case of Theo Huxtable and Malcolm, something he believes to be hip-hop related. Strong Bad has questioned how much Coach Z actually knows about these artists.

Rejected costumes of Coach Z as The Noid and Doug McKenzie have been shared; notably, these unused costumes have no connection to hip-hop.

[edit] Quotes of the Week

[edit] See Also

[edit] External Links

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