Lieutenant Coats attended the University of New Mexico, graduating with a Bachelor's of Music Performance degree before winning a position with the Tulsa Philharmonic Orchestra in 1997. Shortly thereafter he won an audition with the United States Navy Band, joining the Navy's premier musical ensemble in Washington D.C. in 1998. While serving in the nation's capital, he performed for Presidents, Royalty, Heads of State, Cabinet Members, United States Justices, Senators and members of Congress, in addition to tens of thousands of concertgoers during national tours across the United States. During this time he also completed a Master's Degree in Instrumental Performance at The Catholic University of America.
Since receiving his commission in October 2008 he has served as a bandmaster in the United States Navy Music Program. During that time he has conducted across Europe, Africa, and in the Pacific Northwest, to include work with the Conservatorio di Musica San Pietro a Majella in Naples Italy, and the Rainier Symphony in Seattle. Before joining Fleet Forces Band, Lieutenant Coats attended Naval Post Graduate School, studying conducting at Arizona State University. Prior to this assignment, he completed tours as Director of Navy Band Northwest, and as Assistant Director, Naval Forces Europe Band.