Meet the local high school coach who inspired ‘Ted Lasso’


KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Former Shawnee Mission West High School and current Lee’s Summit North High School basketball coach Donnie Campbell may seem familiar to fans of the Emmy-nominated show “Ted Lasso.”

That’s because he is the inspiration behind Overland Park-native Jason Sudeikis’ character in the series.

Sudeikis played for Campbell when he attended Shawnee Mission West and took his mannerisms and accent with him to the screen of the critically acclaimed show.

“It’s hard sometimes to see yourself, but my wife says, ‘Yeah, that’s you Donnie!'” Campbell said.

Campbell said Sudeikis was a good teammate and player during his time, although he could have played a little better defense.

Minus the moustache, Campbell’s impact on the show is felt through his quirky quotes and leadership.

“That’s what leadership is, bottom line. It’s impacting people,” Campbell said. “All of us are leaders in some way or another and what you say and what you do to be positive with somebody, to just say positive things to someone, might make their whole day.”

“Ted Lasso” can be streamed on Apple TV+.

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