Filmed in 1998, the film was fictionally set in West Canaan, Texas but actually shot in Coupland and Elgin, with two memorable scenes filmed in Austin proper.
The film features James Van Der Beek, who was starring in Dawson’s Creek at the time, Scott Caan, son of James Caan, Paul Walker, in his first significant role (RIP), and Ron Lester, who apparently irked the Beek’s agents because he was stealing the film (also RIP). In case you live under a rock and aren’t familiar with this film, it revolves around the world of Texas high school football. Enough said.
Let’s talk Varsity Blues filming locations.
West Canaan High School scenes were actually filmed at the Elgin Independent School District (located at 1002 West 2nd Street, Elgin). In this street view shot you can clearly see the water tower that’s also visible in the film.
Downtown West Canaan, where Tweeder pulls up in a cop car full of naked sophomores, is downtown Elgin.
The Coyote Stadium where football games took place was a football field in Georgetown that has since been demolished. It was located at East Morrow Street and Stadium Drive, Georgetown.
The houses of Lance Harbor and Jonathan Moxon are located in Coupland.
Mox’s house: 380 North Broad Street, Coupland
Lance’s house: 102 North Broad Street, Coupland
You can also drive over the bridge the boys drive over on their way to school. It’s located on County Road 456 in Coupland.
Jules works at Austin’s Top Notch drive in, most well known from being featured in Dazed and Confused. It’s located at 7525 Burnet Road, Austin.
But the most memorable scene took place at Austin’s famed gentleman’s club, The Landing Strip, located at 745 US 183, Austin.
Here are a few fun facts we learned about the film while doing our Varsity Blues filming locations research:
Chris Klein was up for the role of Mox. We didn’t think it was possible for anyone to have a worse accent than James “I don’t want your life” Van Der Beek but after watching Chris Klein in Netflix’s Sweet Magnolias, it is in fact possible.
According to a VH1 interview with Lester, Van Der Beek’s arm wasn’t exactly up to snuff. So a University of Texas quarterback was enlisted as a stand-in. No one is listed in the credits but at the time, Major Applewhite was the Longhorns’ starter.
When Lance knocks the can off his dad’s head with a perfect spiral (and Mox break’s his daddy’s nose), the can is fittingly an old can of Lonestar.
Blink and you’ll miss him but the kid in that scene calling Mox a chicken is a young Jesse Plemons.
The guys who play the announcers at the Coyote games were real Central Texas area football announcers. In all of their scenes, they are both sporting Justin Boot Company hats.