Fans of Last Chance U will be glad to hear the show is returning for its fifth season and they’re shaking it up once more.
The hit sporting docu-series on Netflix has followed first the East Mississipi Community College Lions, then Independence Community College’s Pirates. And now they’re moving to the West Coast!
Season 5 will focus on Laney College’s Oakland Eagles and introduce viewers to a whole new cast of players, teachers and coaches.
So why have Last Chance U focussed on Laney College? Here’s everything you need to know about the junior college, from history, league position, rivals and more.
Why is Last Chance U leaving ICC?
Last Chance U season 4 dropped to Netflix mid-July 2019 and saw the show rounded off with a rather explosive ending.
Head coach Jason Brown was suspended from coaching the Pirates and working at Independence Community College (ICC) after sending a student inappropriate and abusive texts messages which included a reference to Adolf Hitler.
Coach Brown is not currently coaching football and is awaiting a hearing on blackmail, misdemeanour and identity charges.
Although the season ended in a rather dramatic way, Last Chance U probably would’ve moved on to a new college despite the drama with Brown. This has been the format of the show until now.
About California’s Laney College
Laney College is the largest of the four Peralta Community College District campuses, with around 16,000 students coming through the halls each year. It is one of the oldest community colleges in America and was founded in 1953.
This season will differ slightly from the other series. Sure, there will be the odd tragic backstory and crushed hopes and dreams, but at Laney College, things are different than ICC or EMCC.
While many of the players in the previous series were searching for redemption, having been kicked out of D1 schools or looking to get into D1 schools, the players at Laney are there for different reasons.
Coach Beam said: “You’re the kids who came here for a reason. To better your grades or better your football outlook. We’re your best chance.”
Beam calls Laney the ‘first chance’ not the ‘last chance’.
Who is the head coach?
The head coach of Laney College’s Eagles is California-native John Beam.
John has been the head coach since 2012 but has been with the Eagles since 2004. First, John was the Running Backs coach before a promotion to the Offensive Coordinator position in 2005.
Last Chance U director Greg Whitely said of coach Beam: “Coach Beam has had a Hall of Fame career, and as he begins his 40th year coaching we’re thrilled at the chance we’ll get to tell the stories found on the team, the school, and within the city of Oakland itself.”
You can follow John on Twitter @beam_coach for all his latest updates.
Where are the Eagles in the JUCO league?
The Eagles are not a part of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA), instead, they play in the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA).
Currently, season 1 and 2’s East Mississipi Lions are holding the top spot as they have done for the past two years in the NJCAA. The Independence Pirates over the years have been in the top 10 but never held number 1.
But the Eagles are coming off the back of the first-ever CCCAA football championship meaning they are the no. 1 JUCO football team in California.
Laney also has a long-standing history of producing NFL players – over twenty have come from Laney College – so we’re sure the football in season 5 will be some of the best we’ve ever seen.
Who are Laney College’s rivals?
From what we’ve gathered on Twitter, Laney College’s rivals on the football field are Chabot College in Hayward, California.
Over the years the Bay Area teams have fluctuated on who takes the top spot but now it looks like Laney has overtaken as the team to beat.
Here’s hoping Laney’s Eagles and Chabot’s Gladiators will go head-to-head in a Last Chance U episode!
Put Laney or Chabot on @LastChanceU
— Jed (@MrJeddyBear) July 22, 2018
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