The autumn of 1970 left lingering ghosts and painful scars for the residents of small town Huntington, West Virginia. In a community that lived and breathed football, with much of its social activity built around the local Marshall University gridiron, nothing could have prepared locals for a cataclysm that transpired one rainy night. The team (known as 'The Thundering Herd') left for a pivotal match in North Carolina, and attempted to return on a plane - unsuccessfully. Battling wretched visibility, the craft plummeted into a hill, killing 75 football players and members of the athletic staff and bringing the town to its knees. For a time, it looked as if the football team might fold altogether, but the determination of the University's new head coach, Jack Lengyel and assistant coach, Red Dawson, built a new team from scratch and helped to heal old wounds. Director McG and screenwriter Jamie Linden tell the story of the 'Thundering Herd' in their late 2006 drama We Are Marshall; the documentary Return of the Thundering Herd acts as a nonfiction companion piece to the feature, by examining and recounting the true story that inspired the movie.