John Coakley Music, Sports, Politics, and an absurd level of knowledge about Star Wars

My name is John Coakley, and I'm a junior Journalism and Political Science double major at UMass Amherst.

Just me hanging out on a beach!

One of my greatest passions is music. I've been playing guitar for about nine years, singing for about three, and playing bass and percussion for about a year. I was in a pop/folk band, called The Wise Fools, for four years.

Me playing guitar during a performance on a radio station at Salem State University in 2014.

After high school, I started playing solo. I wrote and recorded a debut EP called, "Heavy On My Mind," in June 2016. The music I write now is generally acoustically-driven folk music, but I also play some indie rock as well.

This is a photo I took of the W.E.B. Du Bois library at UMass in 2016. It later became the album cover for "Heavy On My Mind."

In addition to music, I'm an avid sports fan. I follow football, basketball, baseball, and world football very closely. The teams I support are the New England Patriots, Boston Red Sox, Boston Celtics, and Borussia Dortmund. I also love to write about sports on my personal blog, which can be found here:

Freezing my butt off at the New England Patriots Super Bowl LI Championship parade in Boston, MA.

Another of my principle interests is politics. As a political science major, I'm a total news junkie, and I could watch CSPAN for hours (though like any sane person, I would be bored out of my mind eventually!) My first political Op-Ed, exploring the future of the Democratic Party after losing the 2016 presidential election, was just published by The Amherst Wire. That article can be found at:

While I may be a music/sport/political nerd, all of that pales in comparison to my Star Wars nerd levels. I'm a huge fan of the fantasy sci-fi movie franchise, and I've seen all eight films numerous times. In addition to the films, I've watched two animated series, read roughly 10-15 novels, and read countless comics about Star Wars. I also do some occasional film reviews for another blog, at

I have shelves full of Star Wars merchandise at home that I've been collecting since I was a kid. I don't have a problem, I swear...

There's only one thing in the world that I love more than Star Wars, and it's my dog, Gracie. She's a nine year old mutt, and she's the sweetest dog you'll ever meet. We rescued her from a high-kill shelter in New Hampshire that she was sent to after being abandoned on the side of a highway in Arkansas, stuffed in a burlap sack with eight other puppies. Gracie's first few months may have been rough, but she's been living a great life ever since.

Gracie trying to catch some snow flakes during a recent snow storm.
Just a boy and his best friend.
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