Coach Shannon Beiste is a character that no Gleeks saw coming, but have whole heartedly fallen in love with. Coach Beiste is played by former shot put and arm wrestling star Dot-Marie Jones. While Dot-Marie is very tall in stature, she has such a caring spirit and a loving attitude. An avid Tweeter, she is consistently in touch with fans or as she fondly calls them, her "lil punkins." She is constantly trying to reach out to fans, and spread her love across the internet and beyond. Dot-Marie, who is very open about her sexuality, is a newlywed who married Bridgett Casteen on December 21, 2013. Jones has been a major advocate for the LGBT community and a constant beacon for those in need of advice or guidance. It just so happens that Jones had no intention of pursuing a career in acting but thank goodness she did.
In Season 2, the tough Coach Beiste was introduced. Filling the open football coach position, she was initially met with great hesitation. Who was this person, and was she also going to try and take down the beloved glee club? After a few false starts Gleeks started to understand the immeasurable love Coach Beiste had for her students. While she is the complete opposite of Coach Sylvester the two were easy to pair together. With constant battles between the two, what no one saw coming was the friendship that has evolved between them.
Sue and Beiste found themselves vying for the attention of the same guy, one Cooter Menkins. While Beiste won Cooter’s heart, in the end she probably wishes she hadn’t. Cooter was a verbally and physically abusive person who wore Coach Beiste down in every way possible. Glee
brought great awareness to domestic violence, and brought the house down with the rendition of “Shake it Out.” While Beiste does not sing in that song, she still deserves great credit for her emotional performance during the piece. However, before that there was another truly heart wrenching moment spent between Mr. Shue and Coach Beiste. In a very raw scene the two are talking about love and the fact Coach has never been kissed, Will takes it upon himself to give her a memorable first kiss. We got to witness such vulnerability from such a strong character. Jones left everyone in awe of the openness we have seen from her character. Another shining performance from Jones was her emotionally charged performance during the Finn Hudson tribute episode “The Quarterback.” In her scenes with Puck, she expresses her grief, while showing her ability to make a change and attempt to move on.
You cannot mention Coach Beiste without remembering in Season 2 when she bought a pair of robotic legs for Artie. This was in order to fulfil a Christmas wish from Brittany to Santa to let Artie walk again. Just another amazing example of the giant heart the Coach Beiste has.
While her singing abilities have not been on full display, when she has gotten the opportunity to showcase her talents there has been no disappointment. From her rendition of “Jolene” to her duet with Puck of “Mean,” she gave fans a voice to look forward to.
While Coach Beiste has had some emotional and serious moments, she has brought great joy and laughter to Glee.
Whether it is Coach Beiste’s unique sayings or her boisterous personality she has left a mark on Glee
that will forever be remembered. While our beloved Coach was left out of Glee’s
episode, here’s to hoping Gleeks see a lot more of the best football coach around. So as a thank you from Gleeks everywhere, we want to thank you Dot-Marie Jones for being such a thoughtful and inspiring person.
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