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Eric Taylor is the varsity football coach of the Dillon Panthers. Under immense pressure to succeed, he is constantly conflicted between what is right and what will win. Taking control of a team loaded with talent and potential, Taylor must deal with the pressure that comes with West Texas football in the small, sports-crazed town of Dillon.
Among the crises Taylor must face in his first year at the helm are the steroid use of star tailback Smash Williams, the paralysis of starting quarterback Jason Street, and the constant scrutiny from Buddy Garrity and other boosters over how he should be running the team. And that's not even on the field!
At home, Eric doesn't seem to approve of his daughter, Julie, dating Matt Saracen, the team quarterback, though he reluctantly accepts it. Eric and wife Tami are in constant conflict over their parenting styles in regards to Julie, and their own relationship is often strained as a result.
Desiring to advance his career, Eric Taylor has accepted a coaching job in Austin at Texas Methodist University (TMU), and the team gets the news right before the championship game. Despite their disappointment over his departure, the players win one for Taylor and take state. Will he return to defend that title? We can only hope.