Jonathan Coachman

Long-time ESPN personality Jonathan Coachman has left the company. Coachman came to ESPN in 2008 after nine years in a variety of roles with WWF/WWE, and was there until this year, hosting SportsCenter and radio shows and playing a key role in the network’s wrestling coverage. It’s not clear exactly when he officially left, but it’s certainly official now from his tweets. So far, he’s pivoted to doing a daily Periscope show, and has said he has other things in the works and is open to more.

Here’s a look at Coachman’s tweets about his exit.

First, in September, he talked about returning from a six-month “social media/personal recalibration” (it wasn’t a complete hiatus, as he sent occasional tweets and retweeted others during that span, but he wasn’t very active):

In early October, he talked about how that was partly to “remember why I got into this business”

On Oct. 14, he tweeted about “a LONG list of good ideas that were bypassed”:

Also that day, he talked about creating his own thing, and having podcast proposals turned down:

On Oct. 17, he posted a “time to have fun again” video to Instagram, and announced that he’d do a daily Periscope show. He also said “We’re going to start talking about sports again, the actual game. The day after the NFL, let’s talk about the games on the field!”

Time to have fun again. And actually talk about the games on the field, on the course, on the court. The business is everchanging and I think a lot of really smart people are doing things in a different way and delivering Smart, inciteful, meaningful content. I have been trying to remember the 7 year old “Coach” who dreamed about making sports his life. And that version is me is who will be driving the bus from now on. I also love a ton of fun things that a lot of people love to banter back and forth about. @bigbrother @realhousewivestv @bachelorabc @bacheloretteabc. So let’s use technology to our advantage and turn our “guilty pleasures” into a helluva a lot of fun. #letsmaketherules. #backtobasics #realtalk #entertainment. Stay tuned.

A post shared by Jonathan Coachman (@thecoachespn) on

On Oct. 26, he commented further on issues with ESPN, including them cancelling his “Off The Top Rope” segment:

That’s perhaps particularly notable considering the back and forth of ESPN’s WWE coverage, which has at times incorporated a vertical, regular SportsCenter segments, and now a 30 for 30, but has also taken some criticism, including from public editor Jim Brady. The company seems to have gone back and forth on how much they want to do WWE things, and that may have been part of Coachman’s exit.

It’s also interesting that he’s retweeted some comments that were quite critical of ESPN:

After that, Coachman discussed his Periscope show:

And mentioned he was shooting something for WWE Network:

Here’s one of his first Periscope shows, from Oct. 30:

This apparent shot at former coworker Jon Gruden the same day is also perhaps interesting:

In November, Coachman further discussed his exit (and comparisons to Clay Travis’ Periscope success):

This week, he talked about being back on TV with “several projects in the works”:

He also discussed changing his Twitter handle to a new company:

He’s continued to retweet other comments critical of ESPN too, like this one:

It’s definitely interesting to see Coachman directly engaging with fans on Twitter and now on this daily Periscope show, and it’s also notable to hear some of his comments about ESPN’s leadership or lack thereof. We’ll see where he lands next.

[WrestleZone; photo from Coachman’s website]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.