- Ph.D. History, University of Wisconsin-Madison
- M.A. History, University of Wisconsin-Madison
- B.A., Marlboro College
Dr. Coakley teaches courses in early American history and the Atlantic world, including surveys of U.S. History to 1877, and upper level courses in Atlantic Race and Slavery, Colonial America, the American Revolution, and the Civil War.
His research focuses on the political economy of the early English Caribbean. His publications and presentations have examined piracy, slavery, trading, and maritime law. He is currently working on a study of the central role played by pirates and other private sailors in seventeenth-century Jamaica.