Jay Coatta ’87 Inducted 2003

Basketball and Golf

Jay Coatta was a two-sport standout for the Gusties in the mid-'80s after transferring from the University of South Carolina, where he had played Division I golf. Coatta would go on to captain teams to MIAC championships in both basketball and golf for the Gusties. In basketball, Coatta was a three-time all-conference selection (1985, 1986, and 1987) and three-time team captain. In his senior season (1986--87), Coatta led the MIAC in scoring at 19.6 points per game and helped lead the Gusties to the MIAC regular season title. He was also named the MIAC's Most Valuable Player that year and helped the team qualify for the NCAA Division III Tournament for the first time in school history. The Gusties advanced to the finals of the West Regional before losing to Wartburg 74--72, and Coatta was named to the all-tournament team. He finished his career with 1,393 points, which ranks 12th on the all-time scoring list. In golf, Coatta played on three MIAC championship teams while earning all-conference honors in both 1984 and 1986. He tied teammate Mike Maras for the conference individual title in 1986. Coatta was also a significant contributor on three NCAA-tournament golf teams.

A financial economics major, Coatta opened a retail sunglass store called Eye Guys in 1989. He steadily built the business up to 10 stores in the Twin Cities area before selling it in 1998. Coatta then joined with Tom Oslund to form the landscape architecture firm of Oslund and Associates, for which he is currently the chief financial officer. Aside from his business interests, Coatta has remained active in golf. He has played in two U.S. Amateur Championships and three U.S. Mid-Amateur Championships. Jay and his wife, Tina (Spong '90) live in Minnetrista, Minnesota, with their four children, Rachel (8), Seth (6), Sophia (3), and Isabel (3 mos.).