“New Girl” is losing Coach — again.
Damon Wayans Jr. is exiting the comedy at the end of the current fourth season, Fox confirmed. Variety has learned his role will not be recast.
“I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to come back to ‘New Girl’ in season three to reprise the role of Coach,” Wayans Jr. said in a statement. “Working with this incredibly talented and funny cast and crew has been one of the best experiences of my career.”
“We love Damon and are so lucky to have had him return for the past season-and-a-half,” exec producer Liz Meriwether commented. Joking, she added, “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.”
Wayans Jr. was originally cast in “New Girl’s” pilot back in 2011, but was not able to continue with the comedy because of his commitment to “Happy Endings,” which was renewed for a second season. He was replaced by Lamorne Morris in the role of Winston. When Wayans Jr.’s ABC laffer was cancelled, he returned to the Fox series for a four-episode arc during Season 3, eventually becoming a special guest star, and then a series regular for Season 4.
TVLine first reported Wayans Jr.’s exit.