Coakley pitched for the Crusaders in the early 1900's. He was 6-6 on the mound in his first season, but in 1902 he was 10-3 with six complete game shutouts. Shortly after the season he signed with the Philadelphia Athletics and began a major league career that would last until 1911. His career record in the majors was 58-59, and he posted a 2.35 ERA in 1072 major league innings. After leaving the big leagues, Coakley coached the baseball team at Columbia.