Andrew M. Coats is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Oklahoma. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1957, and served as an officer in the United States Navy. After his service at sea, he became an advisor to the Republic of China naval forces in Taiwan from 1957 to 1960.
In 1960, Coats returned to Oklahoma to attend the University of Oklahoma College of Law. There, he became an editor of the Oklahoma Law Review and President of the Student Bar Association. He was also elected to the Order of the Coif, an honor society for United States law school graduates. In 1962, his academics, community service and leadership helped him earn the Outstanding Law Student award, presented by the Oklahoma Bar Association. A year later, he was honored as the college’s Outstanding Law Graduate.
After being elected President of the Oklahoma Young Lawyers Conference in 1969, it was clear that Coats was destined for success in the legal field. Years of hard work and dedication helped him become the President of the Oklahoma County Bar Association in 1976, as well as the District Attorney of Oklahoma County, where he served until 1980. In 1977, he was honored by the Oklahoma City University College of Law as the Outstanding Lawyer in Oklahoma.
In 1983, Coats career continued to blossom, as he was elected Mayor of Oklahoma City, where he served until April of 1987. During his term in office, Mayor Coats proposed the creation of a new city trust to foster a river project downtown. Thus, the Oklahoma City River Authority was born, known today as the Oklahoma City Riverfront Redevelopment Authority.
After his run as mayor, Coats returned to his roots in the legal field, serving as President of Crowe & Dunlevy Law Firm in 1987 and 1988. In 1992, he was elected President of the Oklahoma Bar Association.
With his foresight and ambition, Coats persistently sought leadership roles, as he became the National President of the American College of Trial Lawyers, the Charter President of the American Board of Trial Advocates in Oklahoma, a Fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, and a member of the Oklahoma Board of Directors of the International Bank of Commerce. In 1995, he was selected as a Trustee of the United States Supreme Court Historical Society.
On July 1, 1996, Coats was appointed as the eleventh Dean of the University of Oklahoma College of Law. Six years later, on April 30, 2002, in recognition of his leadership at the University of Oklahoma College of Law, the University of Oklahoma Regents renamed the law school building “Andrew M. Coats Hall” in his honor.
In 2005, Coats was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame. It’s the highest honor Oklahoma can confer to an Oklahoman.
Aside his academic and legal achievements, Coats received the 2008 Annual Human Rights Award from the Oklahoma Human Rights Commission in recognition of his life-long dedication to improving opportunities for women and minority persons in Oklahoma.
For his many accomplishments and distinguished service, we are proud to recognize Andrew M. Coats as the Oklahoma City Holiday River Parade 2014 Grand Marshal.