Jay Coakley

Professor Emeritus of Sociology, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs

After completing a PhD in sociology at the University of Notre Dame, Jay Coakley moved to the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs in 1972 and began doing research on sports, culture, and society with much attention given to the play, games, and sport participation of young people. In particular, he has studied the ways that young make sense of their physical activities and integrate them into their lives, and how adults might use the perspectives of young people to organize sport programs. Coakley was the founding editor of the Sociology of Sport Journal, and his book, Sports in Society: Issues and Controversies, now in its 13th edition (2021), is the most widely used text in the world. It has been adapted for students in Canada, UK/Europe, Australia, and Southern Africa, and translated into Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Turkish. Coakley is an internationally respected scholar, author, and journal editor and has received many teaching, service, and professional awards. Additionally, he continues to work with many advisory and policy-making groups to make sport participation a source of enjoyment and development for young people and to make sports more accessible, humane, and participant-centered for people of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities.

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