New Girl Losing Damon Wayans Jr.'s Coach (Yeah, Again)

New Girl Damon Wayans Jr. Leaving

New Girl is undergoing another Coach-ing change.

Damon Wayans Jr. has opted to exit the Fox comedy at the end of the show’s current fourth season, TVLine has learned exclusively.

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“I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to come back to New Girl in Season 3 to reprise the role of Coach,” Wayans tells TVLine in an exclusive statement. “Working with this incredibly talented and funny cast and crew has been one of the best experiences of my career.”

The actor’s exit is the latest twist in his circuitous New Girl experience. Allow us to recap: The Happy Endings alum starred in the New Girl pilot back in 2011, but his commitment to the aforementioned ABC sitcom prevented him from continuing with the series. When Happy Endings was axed, Wayans returned to Girl for a four-episode arc, eventually becoming a “special guest star” for the remainder of Season 3. Last May, ahead of Season 4, he was upped to full-fledged series regular in a one-year deal.

“We love Damon and are so lucky to have had him return for the past season-and-a-half,” New Girl executive producer Liz Meriwether tells TVLine. “We are working on crafting an exit for him that will leave the door open for many more returns, especially since Coach is our resolution to the upcoming ‘Who’s Jess’ Baby Daddy?’ storyline.” (We’re relatively certain that last part’s a joke.)

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Wayans will appear in every remaining episode of the season; in this Tuesday’s Valentine’s Day-themed installment, Coach meets a possible love interest (played by Banshee‘s Meaghan Rath) on a Nick-planned “epic” bar crawl.

Weigh in on Wayans’ second New Girl exit in the comments.

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  1. behzadbyhimself says:

    things got overcrowded when they forced him back in so this could be for the best (and maybe more for Winston to do).

  2. Meanwhile, over at TVGuide, there’s an article asking people which intro they prefer, the one with Coach and Cece or the one without. If he leaves, does that mean they reinstate the original intro, or keep the new one and just remove his image? I think they should film a new one with Cece that replicates the original.

  3. Tom says:

    I know this sounds like crazy, conspiracy theory, pipe-dream-y BS but I find it really odd that just as Adam Pally is leaving The Mindy Project, Eliza Coupe’s show Benched was cancelled, and Marry Me is on the road to cancellation, that Damon Wayans Jr. is leaving New Girl. Either the Happy Endings cast (Pally and Wayans specifically) just really don’t like being in the same place for too long OR is there going to be a Happy Endings resurrection? Discuss.

  4. TVLine Fan Girl says:

    I’m glad to see him go, I didn’t feel like he had much to do, and kind of messed up the room mate chemistry. Bring on more Winston! :) ( and maybe the talented Damon Wanye Jr, can find a more interesting roll!)

  5. S. says:

    Honestly I liked it with Coach added in the mix. What’s with all the Happy Endings people (and by “all the,” I mean two) leaving their shows? And shows that air back to back no less. Okay here’s the deal, New Girl, you can let Damon go if you convince Adam Pally to stay on The Mindy Project.

    • Patrick says:

      In the wake of HE, many of the cast got developmental deals. Which are time sensitive. It takes awhile to put together a good project, and if someone is willing to pay you good money while you put together a project, all the better. But, the developmental deals are potentially much more lucrative than mere acting gigs. As their deals reach their time limits, I am sure they want to explore the type of opportunities that only come along 1 time in most entertainment careers.

  6. GuessWhat says:

    Irony — I may exit at the end of this season, too.
    NO longer destination TV for me — I hit it up ON DEMAND to stay up-to-date.
    We’ll see.

  7. cdhaskell says:

    I am sorry that Damon Wayons Jr. will be leaving New Girl. I hope that New Girl won’t replace him with a new actor. Coach should be allow to exist into unknown with a new job. I hope that he will still make some guest appearance.

  8. I’m going to miss him, but the writers honestly did not know what to do with his character. At least now, he gets to move on to other things. He’s a very talented actor. Shouldn’t be too hard for him.

  9. asd says:

    Sad to see him go. It seems like there is too many people to write for its hard to dish out storylines evenly. but happy because now nick gets his room back. Hopefully working towards a nick jess reunion.

  10. eliza says:

    Sad to see him go.. he was a nice addition. But I do miss Winston actually being somewhat cool… he’s just a freak now, haha. I hope they can make better story lines for him again now.

  11. Jared says:

    New Girl has peaked. Smart move by Damon Wayans Jr to get off this sinking ship and find a new project.

  12. Seth says:

    I’m now waiting for the announcement Wayans has been cast as one of the leads in the “Rush Hour” pilot for CBS.

  13. Ari says:

    I loved Coach in the pilot episode but I just don’t think he ever really fit back in. the show had evolved.

  14. zoe says:

    Awwww… I was really enjoying this season and it was mostly because of the new dynamics since Coach came back.

  15. Grey says:

    SO now Eliza Coupe, Damon Wayans, and Adam Pally are all free….

    • Max Broom says:

      I thought this too. I dont have much hope for Casey, Zach or Elisha’s new shows lasting beyond this season either. NETFLIX ARE YOU NOTICING THIS?!?!?! #HappyEndingsSeason4

  16. Azerty says:

    Sad to see him go, he brought fresh air at a time the serie needed some. I will still watch if it is renewed but I feel they lost something, not specially Coach but the humour is not like before, I still love Zoey Deschanel like the first day but something change and it is definitly less funny now.

  17. Hmm this upcoming valentines day episode sounds a lot like the cooler storyline…..

  18. Boiler says:

    Nothing against Damon but I think there were too many people. Unless one of the originals left he is the likely one

  19. Cratloe says:

    Good Riddance!!!!!!!

  20. Ray says:

    Loved Damon Wayans Jr on Happy Endings but he brought absolutely nothing new to the table on New Girl. Its for the best

  21. mandy says:

    So long Coach, maybe this means Winston will finally get his chance to shine again.

  22. Ginger says:

    Does anyone else think him and Adam Pally are going to reunite? I mean they both left around the same time. Bromance rekindled!!

  23. Josh says:

    I’m okay with this. I felt Coach never really fit back in with the group. This means more time for Winston and Cece who sometimes get shortchanged.

    • Sparky says:

      More Cece? Now we’re talking!!

      I like all the characters and will miss Damon Wayans but I like Cece best of all :-)

  24. Rafael says:

    Who’s going to replace Coach?

  25. Joey Padron says:

    sad he’s leaving the show. here’s to hoping a Happy Endings reunion will happen someday!

  26. Me says:

    Maybe Wayne Pally and Coupe could work together again. They where the best part of HE.

  27. Ella says:

    He’s smart for jumping ship, this show is just terrible now.

  28. Jay says:

    That sucks, I’ve loved all the coach and winston stuff.

  29. Marissa says:

    I wasn’t completely on board when I heard they were bringing him back in the 3rd season, but I thought they actually fit him back in pretty well and I enjoyed a lot of his scenes… however, I kept finding myself annoyed at all the inconsistencies with his character!! Pilot episode: Coach doesn’t know how to talk to women without screaming at them, and this season all of a sudden he’s claiming to know how to talk to girls after growing up with 3 sisters?? (Not to mention that weird singular episode last episode where he became Cece’s bestie out of nowhere when Jess spent another entire episode trying to befriend him through his love of sports.)

  30. Mike says:

    Thank goodness. We seriously did not him as a regular in my house. My teenager said he ruined the show and I just did not care for the dynamic of him as one of the gang.

  31. Zoe J says:

    I love coach!!! Didn’t want him to leave. Great actor and adds so much to the cast.

  32. Billy says:

    I think he messed up the flow of the show. I like Damon Wayons just not on the New Girl.

  33. Michael Mack says:

    I’ve watch “all” 4 Episodes 6x and i have to say, they get funnier everytime i rewatch. What an amazing group of writers & actors . I do have one critique, by putting in Megan fox for season five is a huge mistake. Mark my words, this is where you lose your entire audience. Why can’t you understand that once you try to replace the main character, Its over. You blew it. Quick question; did they try to replace any characters in Seinfeld? get the point?