Michael Coakley ’91

Respected industry leader. Encouraging friend. Dedicated Clemson volunteer.

Michael Coakley of Arlington, Va., has a record of service and Michael Coakley receives DSA awardsuccess that stretches from the banks of the Potomac River to the shores of Lake Hartwell.

After earning a bachelor’s degree in management from Clemson in 1991, Michael joined the C.J. Coakley Company Inc. and then rose through the ranks to become its co-president. Today, the family-owned business that started in 1962 is a full-service interior contractor and one of the largest drywall companies in the Washington, D.C., metro area.

As co-president, Michael manages major construction projects that include many at iconic national landmarks such as the White House, the U.S. Capitol, the Pentagon, the Kennedy Center and the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. The company received a special commendation from the Department of Defense for work on rebuilding the part of the Pentagon that was damaged on 9/11.

Michael’s numerous professional recognitions include being the youngest recipient of the DeGelleke Award, the highest honor presented by the Ceilings and Interior Systems Construction Association (CISCA). Also,under his leadership, his company has been named Subcontractor of the Year three times by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). He has held multiple leadership roles in both CISCA and ABC.

He also created and manages the Emerging Leaders Program, which recruits and mentors future business leaders. The initiative has produced 25 graduates since he founded it in 2018 and currently has 45 participants in various stages of the program.

In his community, Michael is a major donor to The Langley School, for children from preschool through 8th grade, and is active in fundraising for CureSearch, an organization dedicated to research to end childhood cancer. His decades of support for Catholic Charities in the D.C. area have included, along with financial gifts, renovating and building churches and homes for parishioners in need.

Among his many volunteer roles for Clemson, Michael is a longtime leader of the Baltimore/Washington, DC Clemson Club, which also serves northern Virginia. He was the club’s co-president for 11 years (2000-2011) and has co-chaired its regional board of directors since 2012. He has served the Clemson Alumni Association on its alumni council and board of directors.

He is a member of the Clemson Legacy Society, which honors donors who have included Clemson in their estate plans, and the 1889 Vision Society, which honors donors for significant cumulative giving. He has made annual gifts for academics since he graduated and was an inaugural member of the President’s Leadership Circle.

Michael and his wife, Beth, have a son, Neil, who graduated from Clemson in December 2023, and two daughters, Lauren and Evelyn.