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Keep In Touch, Coach! New Girl's Damon Wayans Jr. Is Leaving

Read his statement and find out when he's leaving

Kate Stanhope

Stop us if you've heard this one before: Damon Wayans Jr. is leaving New Girl, has confirmed.

Wayans, who plays Coach, will depart the Fox comedy at the end of the current season. The actor first appeared in the pilot but then had to leave when his other TV show, Happy Endings, was picked up to a second season. After Happy Endings' cancellation, Wayans first returned as a special guest star in Season 3 before being promoted to series regular last year.

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"I'm so grateful to have had the opportunity to come back to New Girl in Season Three to reprise the role of 'Coach,'" Wayans said in a statement. "Working with this incredibly talented and funny cast and crew has been one of the best experiences of my career."

Added creator and executive producer Liz Meriwether: "We love Damon and are so lucky to have had him return for the past season-and-a-half. We are working on crafting an exit for him that will leave the door open for many more returns, especially since 'Coach' is our resolution to the upcoming 'Who's Jess' Baby Daddy?' storyline." (That last part is a joke since Deschanel's pregnancy will not be written into the series.)

New Girl: Which opening credits are better? Vote now!

Now that Wayans is leaving, that means New Girl will once again have to switch up its opening credits. The comedy debuted a new opening in November that included Wayans as well as Hannah Simone, but fans were not too pleased with the change. Of the readers who participated in's poll, 52 percent said they wanted the original song brought back but with a new visual including all of the cast members, and 32 percent said they just wanted the old introduction back.

TVLine was the first to report Wayans' exit.

New Girl airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on Fox. Are you sad Coach is leaving?

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