We Are Marshall (2006) - Synopsis

On a fateful November night in 1970, a tragic airplane crash takes the lives of 75 passengers, mostly Marshall University’s football players and coaching staff. The catastrophe leaves the school and the entire surrounding community in deep mourning. A bond of true camaraderie unites everyone in grief, regardless of whether they had a loved one on the flight or not. In the little town of Huntington, West Virginia, football has always been treated as much more than a little sport, but now the program is in danger of being suspended indefinitely. Struggling with his emotions and going against his own judgment, Dr. Donald Dedmon (David Strathairn), the University’s president, respects the wish of the student body and agrees to allow the football program to return the following year. However, an incomplete roster and the lack of a head coach will do little to boost the community’s deflated spirit. Help eventually comes from outside the town. A determined young coach named Jack Lengyel (Matthew McConaughey) hopes to bring the sort of strength and leadership that will lift the program and the entire town right along with it. Together with returning assistant coach Red Dawson (Matthew Fox), who decided to drive home instead of taking the tragic flight, Jack begins the rebuilding process. Both help rekindle a sense of passion in the community through their work with the young athletes.