Is The Movie ‘We Are Marshall’ Inspired By A Real-Life Tragedy?

Is We Are Marshall a True Story

The new football team at Marshall University is coached by Matthew McConaughey and Matthew Fox from the television series We Are Marshall. The film, which is set in the 1970s, recounts the story of the underdog squad that was drawn together by a tragedy that occurred at the institution and in Huntington, West Virginia.

The film is a dramatization of the actual things that happened after the plane disaster in 1970. The Marshall University football team and its coaching staff perished in the crash, which would go down in history as one of the worst aviation disasters and the deadliest event in American sports.

Don Dedmon, the president of the college, contacts upstart coach Jack Lengyel, who takes on the enormous job of assembling a squad from scratch.

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The movie explores how athletics may serve as a metaphor for the community in addition to following their journey. The audience wonders if “We Are Marshall’s” realistic story was inspired by newspaper articles because of how realistic it appears. Let us enlighten you if you want to learn more.

Are We Are Marshall a True Story?


We Are Marshall is, in fact, based on a true story. Given that the movie’s tragic story is based on real events, it hits you harder. Jamie Linden wrote the screenplay, which he adapted from a story by Linden and Cory Helms. Joseph McGinty Nichol, better known as McG, served as the film’s director.

Since it dealt with a traumatic tragedy that left a small community scarred, it had to be entirely realistic. To make the plot come to life, the scriptwriter also did extensive research. Consequently, most of it is still accurate, including the names of the characters.

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Jack Lengyel, who had been the College of Wooster’s head coach since 1966, joined the Thundering Herd team in the months that followed the tragedy.

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Lengyel produced a successful program when taking on a team that had lost to Wooster with a score of 0-9. He brought his assistant and the coaching staff to Morgantown, as shown in the movie, to see the Houston Veer offense. But unlike in the movie, Lengyel had already spoken with West Virginia’s head coach Bobby Bowden and made the necessary arrangements.

The majority of the players were speechless when they observed the recreation of the 1971 Xaviers game. However, when Deborah Novak and John Witek, the director, and producer of the documentary “Marshall University: Ashes to Glory,” sued the filmmaker of “We Are Marshall” for fraud, breach of contract, and copyright violation.

Is We Are Marshall a True Story

Some uncertainty about the movie’s veracity surfaced. A federal judge decided the case in Warner Bros’ favor in October 2008. Because of this, the story holds true to its core when all factors are considered.

Was the Red Dawson Character True?

Yes, Matthew Fox Played as Red Dawson was a tragic figure because he considered the young men he coached to be his kids, and the loss of these players had a profound impact on him personally. As a result, he decided to stop coaching football. Red Dawson’s refusal to give up his seat on the plane was one of my main issues with this movie as I was doing research for it.

Simply said, that wasn’t true! In actuality, graduate assistant Gale Parker would have been the one who gave Deke Brackett’s assistant seat up. For the game in Greenville, North Carolina, Brackett and Dawson hadn’t even taken a flight with the squad.


They drove themselves to the game in Greenville after returning from a recruiting trip in Virginia late that week. Before asking Parker, who had flown to the game, to give up his seat on the way home, they were planning to take a drive back to Huntington.

All along, Dawson planned to drive himself home.

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I believe the movie could have been so much more than what it was. The Marshall plane disaster was a devastating incident in American sports history. Instead of Matthew McConaughey, Robin Williams might have been a better choice to play Head Coach Jack Lengyel.

We appreciate you reading We Are Marshall: What Was Real and What Wasn’t.

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