A college professor of English since 1966 at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, Medoff took up playwriting and had his first play, the grim and claustrophobic "When You Comin' Back, Red Ryder?", produced Off-Broadway in 1974. (Its 1979 screen adaptation was a critical and box office disappointment). The following year, he was appointed the university's dramatist-in-residence and subsequently appointed chair of the drama department in 1978. That same year, he had a first screenplay, the co-authored script for the routine Chuck Norris action vehicle, "Good Guys Wear Black (1978), produced in Hollywood.