“One Tree Hill” will bow out in a two-hour farewell event on Wednesday — at least, for the time being. Several familiar faces, like Dan Scott (Paul Johansson) and Chris Keller (Tyler Hilton), returned for the final season. Even more old pals will be seen in Wednesday’s series finale. One person who we haven’t checked on for a while, though, is Coach Whitey Durham.
We caught up with executive producer Mark Schwahn for one last talk
about the show, which, through nine seasons, has spanned over 15 years
of its characters’ lives. Of course, we had to ask him about our favorite crotchety old coach. Barry Corbin played the role to perfection in the first four seasons of the series — guiding the kids (and their parents) with an alternately gentle hand and iron fist.
The last time we saw him was in Season 6, when Dan visited him on his ranch and begged Whitey to kill him, putting him out of his misery. Wisely, Whitey refused. Since then, there’s been nary a mention of the old guy.
Fear not, “OTH” fans — Whitey isn’t dead.
“Whitey is happy,” Schwahn assures us. “He’s taking care of his horses; he’s on his ranch. Barry was so happy when we brought him back for the one episode with Dan. He was so happy to have the horse — he walked the horse up, in the scene. Barry’s a rancher and I think Whitey is the same. He’s got his horses, he’s got a nice, quiet life.”
Despite the turbulence of the kids’ teenage years, Schwahn says that Whitey wouldn’t change a thing. “I think that he thinks, as I do, that it was all worth it, being invested in these characters as kids. I think he believes that the time he took to council them paid off. That they’re better human beings because of that. That the world is better, because of that.”
Tune in to say goodnight to “One Tree Hill” this Wednesday, April 4 at 8 p.m. EST.