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Coach J. J. Kerba is a recurring character in the third season and fourth season of 13 Reasons Why. He's the coach of the Liberty Tigers football team. He's portrayed by Brandon Scott.

Throughout the Series Edit

Season 3 Edit

Coach Kerba first appeared in a flashback when he and Coach Morris announced the new captain of the football team: Zach Dempsey. Montgomery de la Cruz complained, saying that the whole team had voted for him. Coach Kerba explained that there's more to choosing the captain and that he gets why he's angry, but has to accept Zach as his captain.[1]

After Bryce Walker's Funeral, Coach Kerba checked up on Monty. Monty told him about the protest at the funeral and that it had pissed him off, which Coach Kerba was understanding about as he knew Monty loved Bryce.[2]

In a flashback, Justin Foley couldn't keep up with the other football players during training and Coach Kerba called him out on it. Justin pointed out that it's better if he quits, to which the coach said that it's fine and to go back to doing drugs like "white trash" do. This angered Justin, and Coach Kerba told him that he either leaves forever or runs the track for two miles.

When Justin messed up during a football game, Coach Kerba asked him about it. Justin didn't take responsibility for his mistake and tried to walk away, but Coach Kerba told him to not walk away from him and to admit that he messed up. Upon seeing that Justin was on the verge of tears, Coach Kerba calmly got him to take accountability for his actions.[3]

Zach and Coach Kerba talked about Zach resigning as captain due to his injury. Coach Kerba wanted him to stay as the way he led the players gave him hope for the future, but Zach told him he didn't have a future. Coach Kerba told Zach that he'd always have a home at the football team.[4]

Season 4 Edit

Coach Kerba was asked by Justin to reach out to Zach, which he agreed to. He asked Justin how he has been doing lately and if he's going to meetings. Justin told him he's going to a nearby church, but there are mostly old guys. Coach Kerba then recommended a church near his house that has a younger crowd.

Justin went to the meeting and saw that Coach Kerba was also present revealing that he's a (former) addict. After the meeting, Kerba encouraged him to talk more during meetings although he can see that he's trying. He told him to not forget to be a kid and to go to the Love is Love dance.[5]

After the Jensens drug tested Justin, he called Kerba and said they need to meet. They met at Monet's, where Justin revealed that he's not doing well. Coach Kerba asked if he relapsed, which Justin denied. Justin told Kerba about how Clay accused him of switching the tests and worried that the Jensens didn't trust him. Kerba reassured him that a drug test doesn't mean they don't trust him, but probably want him to be successful. Justin felt like he can't make all the amends he needs to make to carry on with his sobriety, and Kerba told him that they're going to talk it out.[6]

Coach Kerba lead the practice to stop the bleeding of a shooting victim. He declared to Clay and Justin that their dummy didn't survive. He then complimented Tyler and Tony as they managed to save the dummy and do everything correctly. Tyler suggested to Kerba that they should have been practicing with a high-velocity, high-impact wound like one that an assault rifle would create. Kerba asked him if those aren't illegal in California, which Tyler confirmed.

During gym class a shooter drill is announced; Kerba told the students to go into the locker rooms. He gave Justin the keys and instructed him to close the doors. He told everyone that it's going to be fine and to keep sitting down. Diego and Justin started to argue, so Kerba told them to set an example and went to check the office with Justin. When they returned, the jocks had left their place and wanted to fight the shooter. Kerba told them that fighting is the last resort and to "sit the fuck down". Diego taunted Justin, asking if he's going to let Jessica die. Justin tried to fight Diego, but Kerba stood between them and pushed the jocks back into the locker room. Diego said that he doesn't want to die like this, but Kerba said no one is going to die and to stay in the room. He started doing a head count and realized that Justin is gone.[7]

Coach Kerba offered Zach a coaching job at Liberty High School next year. Zach revealed that he took his letter of recommendation out of his file because he didn't think he could live up to it. Kerba told him that he thinks he can, but he needs to get sober and graduate. Zach agreed to do that.

Coach Kerba is seen sitting in the waiting room of the hospital when Justin passes away. He also attended Justin Foley's Funeral.[8]

Personality Edit

Coach Kerba is tough on his players, in an attempt to get them to shape up. He is also serious about the team winning. When Montgomery confronts him about winning the vote, he makes clear that the coaches know Zach was the better choice, and tells him to accept it, for the team. He also tells Justin that he won't tolerate his slacking, and if he wants to, he can go back to using drugs. Coach Kerba generally does not tolerate back talk.

Physical Appearance Edit

Coach Kerba is a man of average height. He has a beard, short hair, and is always shown in his work uniform.

Quotes Edit

Look, he was your brother. And you loved him. And it fucking hurts. That's all okay, man.
— Coach Kerba to Monty about Bryce's death[src]
Coach Kerba: "That's all I want from you."
Justin: "What, like an apology?"
Coach Kerba: "No, no apology. Accountability. Look, we owe that to each other. We do our best. We fuck up, man. We get better and we learn."
―  Coach Kerba and Justin after Justin admitted that he messed up during a football game[src]


Appearances Edit

Season 3 Edit

Season 4 Edit

Gallery Edit

See also: Category:Images of Coach Kerba

References Edit

  1. MacDonald, Allen (writer) & Morris, Michael (director). (August 23, 2019). "If You're Breathing, You're a Liar". 13 Reasons Why. Season 3. Episode 2.
  2. Udofia, Mfoniso (writer) & Hughes, Bronwen (director). (August 23, 2019). "You Can Tell the Heart of a Man by How He Grieves". 13 Reasons Why. Season 3. Episode 6.
  3. Malone, M.K. (writer) & Guerrero, Aurora (director). (August 23, 2019). "Always Waiting for the Next Bad News". 13 Reasons Why. Season 3. Episode 9.
  4. MacDonald, Allen, Malone, M.K., Higgins, Thomas, Tyler, Hayley, Smith, Trevor Marti (writers) & Dowling, Kevin (director). (August 23, 2019). "And Then the Hurricane Hit". 13 Reasons Why. Season 3. Episode 12.
  5. Tyler, Hayley (writer) & Sucsy, Michael (director). (June 5, 2020). "Valentine's Day". 13 Reasons Why. Season 4. Episode 3.
  6. Malone, M.K. (writer) & D. Gonzalez, Franky (director). (June 5, 2020). "House Party". 13 Reasons Why. Season 4. Episode 5.
  7. Ordaz, Evangeline (writer) & Strong, Brenda (director). (June 5, 2020). "Thursday". 13 Reasons Why. Season 4. Episode 6.
  8. Yorkey, Brian (writer) & Yorkey, Brian (director). (June 5, 2020). "Graduation". 13 Reasons Why. Season 4. Episode 10.
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