Daniel R. Coats


Honorary Degree (2019)
Doctor of Human Letters
2018 Winter Commencement
Location: Bloomington
Presenter: Michael A. McRobbie
President's Medal for Excellence (1997)
IUB Commencement
Location: Bloomington
Presenter: Myles Brand
McKinney School of Law Distinguished Alumni Award (1995)
J.D. 1971


Daniel R. Coats was born in Jackson, Michigan in 1943. He graduated from Jackson High School in 1961, and then studied at Wheaton College in Illinois, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science in 1965. At Wheaton, he was an active student athlete on the soccer team. He served in the United States Army from 1966 to 1968, and earned a Juris Doctor from the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law in Indianapolis in 1971. He also served as assistant vice president of a Fort Wayne life insurance company.

From 1976 to 1980, Coats worked for then-U.S. Representative Dan Quayle, a Republican from Indiana's 4th congressional district, as Quayle's district representative. When Quayle decided to challenge three-term Democratic incumbent Birch Bayh in the 1980 U.S. Senate election, Coats ran for and won Quayle's seat in the U.S. House. When Quayle resigned from the Senate after being elected Vice President of the United States in 1988, Coats was appointed to Quayle's former seat. Coats served in the Senate until January 1999, when Evan Bayh became the new Senator. After serving as U.S. Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany from 2001-2005, Coats was a senior counsel in the Public Policy and Government Advocacy Practice Group of the international law firm King & Spalding. When Bayh retired from the Senate, Coats ran for his old seat and won in 2010.