Jay Coakley, Ph.D.

Jay Coakley, Ph.D.

Jay Coakley, Ph.D.

Professor Emeritus

Biographical Information

After 33 years in the Sociology Department at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, I retired from full-time teaching in 2005. Today I continue to write, do research, and lecture on sociology of sport topics

The primary focus of my professional life continues to be revising Sports in Society: Issues and Controversies, with the 13th edition published in 2020 (McGraw-Hill Education).

To meet regional needs for a sociology of sport textbook, I partnered with Peter Donnelly (University of Toronto) to produce two Canadian editions of Sports in Society, the second of which was translated into Japanese; Elizabeth Pike (University of Chichester) and I have produced two editions for students in the UK and Europe; and Chris Hallinan (Monash University), Brent McDonald (Victoria University), and I produced the second Australia edition of Sports in Society. Finally, a Southern African version of Sports in Society, coauthored with Cora Burnett (University of Johannesburg), was published in 2014.

Sports in Society is also translated into Japanese, Chinese, and Korean. Other books include the Handbook of Sports Studies, co-edited with Eric Dunning (Leicester University) and published by Sage in 2000; and Inside Sports, co-edited with Peter Donnelly (University of Toronto), published by Routledge in 1999 and translated into Korean in 2011.

My recent research has dealt with sport mega-event legacy issues, sport and national identity, youth sports, and sport and development. My focus on youth sports has continued as I have worked with Project Play, sponsored by the Aspen Institute and focused on reinventing youth sports so they are organized in age-appropriate terms and focused on the health and overall development and well-being of young people.

I earned M.A. (1970) and Ph.D. (1972) degrees in sociology from the University of Notre Dame (1971 and 1972, respectively), and completed an undergraduate degree in sociology and psychology at Regis University in Denver, Colorado (1966). Since 2003 Nancy Coakley and I have lived in Fort Collins, Colorado.

To schedule a lecture, contact me at jcoakley@uccs.edu or 970-416-1325 (home, land phone) or 970-231-6420 (cell). Additional information about Sports in Society and resources for instructors teaching courses on this topic is at Sports in Society: Issues and Controversies Information Center: Table of Contents (mheducation.com)

Selected Recent Publications

  • (2020) “Levelling the Playing Field: Investing in Grassroots Sports as the Best Bet for Sustainable Development” (with Ben Sanders). In Joseph Maguire, Katie Liston & Mark Falcous, eds. Palgrave Handbook of Globalisation and Sport. London: Palgrave.
  • (2020) “Toward an Integrated Understanding of the Youth Sport System” ( with Travis E. Dorsch, Alan L. Smith, Jordan A. Blazo, Jean Côté, Christopher R. D. Wagstaff6 Stacy Warner, & Michael Q. King). Under review.
  • (2019) “The social construction of human enhancement: implications for sports.” In Katinka Van de Ven, Kyle J.D. Mulrooney & Jim McVeigh, eds. 2019. Human enhancement drugs (pp. 40-53). London/New York: Routledge.
  • (2019) "Sports and the Development of Youth: Canada and the United States." The Business and Culture of Sports: Society, Politics, Economy, Environment, edited by Joseph Maguire, et al., vol. 3: Community, Macmillan Reference USA, (pp. 257-269). Gale Virtual Reference Library.
  • (2018) “How far is too far? Understanding identity and overconformity in collegiate wrestlers.” Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health 10(1): 92-116 (with Ashley Coker-Cranney, Jack C. Watson II, Malayna Bernstein, Dana K. Voelker).
  • (2018) “The Sociology of Sport as a Career and Academic Discipline.” In Young, Kevin, ed. 2017. Reflections on Sociology of Sport: Ten Questions, Ten Scholars, Ten Perspectives (pp. 33-48). Bingley, West Yorkshire, UK: Emerald Publishing Limited.
  • (2017) “Sociology of Sport.” In Kathleen Odell Korgen, ed. The Cambridge Handbook of Sociology: Vol 1—Core areas in sociology. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
  • (2017) “Sociology of Sport.” In Kathleen Odell Korgen, ed. The Cambridge Handbook of Sociology: Vol 1—Core areas in sociology. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
  • (2016) “Youth sports in the United States.” Pp. 84-97 in Ken Green & Andy Smith, eds. Routledge Handbook of Youth Sport. London/New York: Routledge. (2016) “Retombées des méga-événements sportifs, un examen critique.” Alternatives Sud: Sport et Mondialisation—Points de Vue du Sud 23(1): 157-173 (with Doralice Lange de Souza).
  • (2016) "Drug Use and Deviant Overconformity [in sports]." In Verner Møller, Ivan Waddington & John Hoberman, eds., The Routledge Handbook of Drugs and Sport (pp. 379-392). London: Routledge.
  • (2016) "Positive Youth Development Through Sport: Myths, Beliefs, and Realities." Pp. 21-33 in Nicholas L. Holt, ed., Positive Youth Development Through Sport (2nd edition). London: Routledge.
  • (2015) Sports in Society: Issues and Controversies (11th edition). New York: McGraw-Hill.
  • (2015) "Legados de megaeventos esportivos: considerações a partir de uma perspectiva crítica." Revista Brasileira de Educação Física e Esporte (Brazilian Journal of Physical Education and Sport) 29(4): 675-686. (with Doralice Lange de Souza)
  • (2015) "Mega sporting events and public funding of sport in Brazil (2004-2011)." Leisure Studies 35(3): 369-386 (with Suélen Barboza Eiras de Castro, Fernando Augusto Starepravo & Doralice Lange de Souza).
  • (2015) "Assessing the Sociology of Sport: On Cultural Sensibilities and the Great Sport Myth." International Review for the sociology of Sport 50(1): 402-406. (2014) "Sport and Socialization." In George Ritzer, ed., Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology. New York: Blackwell.

Selected Recent Presentation

  • (2018) “The Great Sport Myth & the sociocultural study of sports.” Keynote presentation at the World Leisure Conference on Perspectivas Contemporâneas Sobre Ócio, Lazer E Tempo Livre São Paulo, Brazil (September 3).
  • (2018) “Evaluation of sociocultural studies of sport during 21st century.” Keynote presentation at the Biennial congress of the Latin American Association for the Sociocultural Study of Sport, Universidade de São Paulo in Ribeirão Preto, Brazil (September 7).
  • (2018) “Sociology of Youth Sports: Implications for behavioral interventions and sun safety.” Presentation at the Exercise Science and Skin Cancer Prevention Research Meeting, National Cancer Institute, Gaithersburg, MD (September 26).
  • (2018) “Reinventing youth sports: Challenges faced in the United States.” Keynote presentation at the biennial European Union Youth Sport Conference, Bled, Slovenia; hosted by the University of Ljubljana (December 7).
  • (2017) “Creating a Youth Movement for Movement: Project Play and Reimagining Youth Sports in the United States.” Keynote presentation at a conference on Redesigning the Mexican Sport System, Mexico City (April 6)
  • (2017) “Ethical Dilemmas for Youth Sport Coaches.” Presentation at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, Center for Critical Sports Studies (February 23).
  • (2015) "Special topics in leisure, sports and society-sports in society." A series of six presentations for faculty and graduate students, Federal University of Parana, Curitiba, Brazil (May 6-15).
  • (2015) "College Sports at a Turning Point: Implications for Athletes." Presentation at the 7th Annual SPEAR Conference (Social Issues in Sport, Exercise, and Performance, Florida State University, February 16-17.
  • (2015) "Youth Sports Today: New Experiences for Young People." Presentations at the 7th Annual SPEAR Conference (Social Issues in Sport, Exercise, and Performance, Florida State University, February 16-17.
  • (2014) "Olympic Dreams: Impact on Youth Sports and Lifelong Participation in Physical Activities." Address given at a Leisure Sports Seminar and book launch in Budapest, Hungary (November 20).
  • (2014) "Leveraging the Games: Beyond Olympic Legacies." Keynote address, 4th International Seminar of Olympic Studies: Preservation of memory: The social responsibility of the Olympics Games, Sao Paulo, Brazil (October 17)
  • (2014) "Legacy vs Leverage: Approaches to Hosting Sport Events." Keynote address at the 4th Congress of the Asociación Latinoamericana de Estudios Socioculturales del Deporte (ALESDE), Bogota, Columbia (October 23).
  • (2014) "Sport Studies: A 360-Degree Window to the World." Keynote address at the conference, Science, Higher Education and Business: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Sport Studies, Research and Development in the Caribbean; University of the West Indies, Trinidad and Tobago (January 16).