The second season opens at the Dillon town pool. The last week of summer and the first week of the new season. Julie is working at the pool as a lifeguard, probably as an excuse get close to “the Swede,” a lifeguard at the pool as well. Matt is not keen on this. Landry is too distracted by Tyra to care about Matty's problems.
Also arriving at the pool is a very pregnant Tami. Julie is mortified that her mother is there. Jules has been sullen and moody all summer, a trend not helped by the fact taht Tami's water breaks while in the pool. Coach Taylor has been in Austin, coaching at TMU for the eight months, and he hops on a plane to Dillon, barely making it to the hospital before Grace - their new baby - is born!
The new coach of the Dillon Panthers, Bill MacGregor, also known as the Tennessee tyrant, is a bit different than Coach Taylor. He doesn't allow Buddy Garrity or anyone from the press to watch practice, for one. His method of dealing with Riggins' bad attitude is to make him run stadium stairs in the August heat with all his equipment on until he throws up.
Jason Street, now a full-time member of the Dillon coaching staff, tries to intercede on Tim's behalf, but the new coach isn't having it. These two are likely to butt heads more than once this year.
Meanwhile, Lyla has accepted Jesus and we first see her getting baptized in the river and distributing material for the Christ Teen Messengers. She sees Tim and tries to talk to him about Jesus. But Riggins, in the typical Riggins fashion, just wants to talk about how hot Lyla is and how drunk he got this summer.
Eric tries to talk to Julie at home, but the teen is resentful that her dad has been away for the past eight months, so she refuses to open up. Eric gets a call from TMU saying that they need him back by this Friday. Eric goes to see Buddy, who's living at his car dealership while Lyla's mother, Pam, has taken up with a new, hippie boyfriend. Things aren't going well these days in the life of Buddy.
Julie blows Matt off to go to a bar where the Swede's band is performing. Sadly for her, the Swede, whose real name is Anton, has a hot girlfriend whom Julie did not know about. Stranded at the bar Julie calls her father to take her home. Coach lays into her for being at a bar at 12:30 in the morning, but she finally opens up to him. She's insecure about Matt and doesn't want to turn into an adult, especially one stuck in West Texas. Coach tells her she'll be alright and he'll love her no matter what.
While all this is going on, Landry is still obsessing over how he can make Tyra fall for him. He even tries out for the football team to impress her. They hang out at the pool, and decide to watch a movie together sometime. Landry even calls Matt from the bathroom for advice on how to put a move on Tyra, who's unaware (at least in part) of his love for her. Classic.
All hell breaks loose, though, when they decide to go stock up on snacks. That's when Tyra's attacker, who nearly raped her last season, shows up. Stalking her all week, he assaults her again outside the store. Rushing outside to Tyra's aid, Landry attacks him from behind, jarring him in the back of the head what a blunt object and accidentally killing him. In a state of panic, they dump his body in the river.
Holding baby Grace, Eric contemplates the importance of family. Tami sits next to him as Julie does the dishes. Struggle as they may, Coach's love for his family is so clear. The family then goes to the football stadium for a pep rally to announce this season's roster. Landry made the team! Eric also presents members of last year's team with state championship rings. Then he flies back to Austin.