John Irwin, the mastermind behind reality hits “Celebrity Rehab” and “Couples Therapy,” is venturing into the sports arena with a familiar topic — therapy.
“Coaching Bad,” premiering Feb. 8 on Spike TV, centers on the widespread and ever-growing epidemic of athletic coaches with anger-management issues.
“What made this interesting to us is that one out of four people struggle with anger management in this country and leading the charge in that category are athletic coaches,” said Irwin who serves as an exec producer on the original series. “Flying under the radar are literally tens of thousands of coaches out there who, if they’re not screaming at the kids, they’re literally beating them up or beating up their parents. It really felt like this was something that needed to be cracked open.”
In each episode, NFL legend Ray Lewis teams up with anger management specialist Dr. Christian Conte to help fix nine coaches whose methods are detrimental, impacting youth athletics around the country.
“The deeper we got into this, the more we realized how out of control this epidemic is and how severe the stuff is that’s actually going on out there, with respect to coaches mistreating kids,” Irwin explained, adding that the series will be an “eye-opener” to anyone who works with children, and especially parents. “In a lot of situations, parents are almost as much to blame because they don’t want to see it. A lot of these parents want to see their kid excel in sports, so a lot of it gets swept under the rug. Hopefully, it’ll pull back the veil on a big problem that we have right now. I believe this is a show that is going to hit hard with the American audience and hopefully be a major wake up call for both coaches and parents.”
Irwin, who heads Irwin Entertainment, says “Coaching Bad” is much more than a sports show — it hits a chord in all of us, just like his other reality hits on VH1.
“It’s not too dissimilar from ‘Celebrity Rehab’ from the standpoint of the program so to speak, even though it’s completely different because we’re treating a totally different situation. The reality is therapy is therapy…at the end of the day, most of us, if not all of us, struggle with a lot of the same core issues.”