The Passing Game

The story of the greatest coach you've never heard of.

When you talk about affecting people’s lives in the field of coaching, he has to go down as one of the greatest of all time.
— Billy Donovan, NBA Head Coach

Sydney Johnson ‘92 speaks at the court dedication ceremony in 2018. His is one of the many voices we hear from in the film, and his story another example of how Coach Arritt played a small part in some major moments in basketball history.

 Fletcher and Betty Jean Arritt take the floor prior to Coach Arritt’s final home game at Fork Union.

Fletcher and Betty Jean Arritt take the floor prior to Coach Arritt’s final home game at Fork Union.

Fletcher Arritt is arguably one of the greatest basketball coaches to ever live. He is not a household name because he chose to stay at the helm of a post-graduate program in rural Virginia. In 42 years at Fork Union Military Academy, Arritt sent over 450 players to the collegiate ranks and won over 880 contests. And by the way, he was a biology teacher. A biology teacher who helped hundreds (maybe thousands) of kids on the court and in the classroom while earning the respect and admiration of some of the best coaches in the world. He declined offers to "advance" to the collegiate level, instead choosing to labor in obscurity for over four decades at the very place that had changed his life when he was a post-graduate in 1959. Made by a former player and featuring commentary from Bob Knight, Roy Williams, Tubby Smith, Billy Donovan and others, this feature documentary film follows his last years as a coach and highlights the philosophies that have inspired so many.

Nobody did a better job of preparing kids for college than Fletcher did with his kids at Fork Union.
— Bob Knight, Hall of Fame Coach


Production of The Passing Game started in 2007, and wrapped in September 2018 at the dedication of the Betty Jean & Fletcher Arritt court on the campus of Fork Union. The film follows the final years of Arritt’s career, the push to honor the Arritt’s and examines the career and philosophies that impacted so many.

The film is currently in post-production and will be submitted to film festivals and distributors for consideration in 2019.

This project is made possible by financial contributions from individuals and organizations. The Southern Documentary Fund is the film’s fiscal agent, and accepts tax-deductible donations from individuals and organizations to help cover the costs of completion.

©2018 The Passing Game Productions, LLC