Three Coaches and a Bobby is the 47th episode of King of the Hill. It was first aired on January 26, 1999. The episode was written by Johnny Hardwick, and directed by Chris Moeller. The name is a pun on Three Men and a Baby.
Hank, Bobby, Bill, Boomhauer, and Dale make their way along a dirt embankment beneath an old overpass on the outskirts of Arlen. Spraypainted on one end of the bridge is "Wolves #1!" Hank tells the others that the Cougars must take action. He shakes up his can of spray paint, then hands it to Bobby, encouraging him to create some Cougar graffiti. Unfortunately, Bobby drops the can, and it rolls off into the distance. Hank tells the others that what really matters is that Arlen once had a great team. In flashback, a tough-as-nails Coach Sauers grills his team, which includes Hank, Boomhauer and Bill. Hank pulls off a last-minute goal, sending the team to State. Back in the current day, Hank watches as Arlen faces off against the Wolves. As the two-minute warning sounds, Hank realizes that the team actually has a chance of winning. Unfortunately, Coach Maxwell sends Bobby into the game, this despite protests from Hank and Bobby. The decision costs Arlen yet another victory. Later, Hank and his friends conclude that old Coach Sauers would have won the game. They approach Sauers at a shoe store, where he works as a salesperson. Sauers is so overwhelmed by the offer that his eyes almost well with tears. Unfortunately, Sauers' abrasive, grueling, in-your-face style causes most of the team to defect to a nearby soccer game, which is supervised by Coach Lucas. The following day, Bobby also defects. Hank watches, mortified, as his son runs off.
Hank apologizes to Sauers for the way his son quit the team. Sauers gives Hank a chance to make amends by offering him the assistant football coach position. Hank accepts the challenge. Meanwhile, Coach Lucas continues to pamper his players, lavishing them with praise for doing very little. Bobby tells his father that his team won a game without having to beat their opponents. Hank attempts to regain his relationship with his son by offering to take him to see a movie. Bobby declines, noting that the soccer player who collects the most litter gets to play goalie during the next game. Hank ends up taking Sauers to see the movie.
While collecting trash along the side of a highway, Bobby sees the overpass with "Wolves Suck" painted on the side. Suddenly excited, he suggests to Coach Lucas that he and his teammates paint the bridge. Lucas embraces the idea. Unfortunately, he decides to cover up the graffiti before the Wolves have a chance to see it. Bobby begins to have doubts about the soccer team experience. A short time later, Hank discovers Coach Sauers chasing his team around a muddy practice field in his car. When the vehicle gets stuck in the mud, Hank slams his hands down on the hood, demanding an explanation. Sauers climbs out of the car and accuses Hank of losing the State game all those years ago. Hank grows angered, and uses a cooler to knock Sauers unconscious. With Sauers out of commission, Hank takes charge of the team. But on the day of the big game, the Wolves take a commanding lead. Bobby looks across the soccer field and sees his father pacing along the sidelines. He grabs hold of the soccer ball and, gaining his teammates' attention, points to the football field. He convinces them that the Cougars need their help. Hank is overjoyed when he sees Bobby walking towards him with Joseph in tow. Hank immediately sends Joseph onto the field.
- Hank Hill
- Peggy Hill
- Bobby Hill
- Luanne Platter
- Dale Gribble
- Nancy Gribble
- Joseph Gribble
- Jeff Boomhauer
- Bill Dauterive
- Coach Whitey Sauers
- Coach Coleman Lucas
- Coach Maxwell
- Ally (cameo)
- Wendy (cameo)
- Kimmi (cameo)
- Football Kid (cameo)
- Unnamed Man (cameo)
- When Hank knocks out Coach Sauers after he starts the car, the engine stops on its own somehow.
- On Coach Sauers' list, he mentions a player named "Johnny Hardwick". Johnny Hardwick is the actor who is the voice of Dale Gribble, and the writer of this episode.
- This is the first episode revealing that Bill, back in high school, was a very popular, fit, masculine jock with long flowing hair known as The Billdozer.
- Boomhauer reveals that his parents live in Florida and have won the lottery.
- Spiking the ball after a touchdown is not allowed in either youth or high school football. It is a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
- Hank claims that Rudy (Daniel 'Rudy' Ruettiger) died of cancer after the big game. In actuality, he became a motivational speaker, and was very much alive at the time this episode was made (and as of 2019, is still alive).
- By the time Hank takes over as coach, so many kids have left the team that there's only six in the huddle for the "God Bless America" chant. However, in order to play a game, the team would need at least 11 players.