Dr. Coats is a native of the Gulf Coast of Alabama and is currently a Professor at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina, where he has taught for five years. He developed the first servant-leadership curriculum at Appalachian State University and continues to teach this curriculum. In 2021, he was name Most Helpful Professor by first-year students. Dr. Coats has traveled extensively internationally and nationally, including having lived across the country. He has over 25 years of experience in higher education leadership programs and taught at Bowling Green State University (OH) and Auburn University (AL) where he taught leadership courses and has received numerous leadership awards. He has served as an Associate Provost and Dean of Students and led multiple leadership positions at a variety of higher education institutions. He has led leadership academies and forums from coast to coast focusing on servant-leadership and inspiring college age students to give back to their communities to make society better. In addition, Dr. Coats has served as a leadership consultant both in the public and private sectors. He holds a doctorate in Administration of Higher Education with an emphasis in Leadership Studies from Auburn University. He also has studied through post-doctoral leadership programs at Harvard University, Columbia University, and The University of Alabama. Dr. Coats loves spending time iwth his wife, Dr. Rebecca Coats, traveling as often as possible. Though the COVID pandemic has curtailed many of their travels, they still find ways to get out and explore the beautiful Appalachian Mountains with their two dogs, Bella and Baxter.