Born January 16, 1946, in Sacramento, California, but considers Riverside, California, as his hometown. He received a bachelor of science degree from the United States Naval Academy in 1968, a master of science in Administration of Science and Technology from George Washington University in 1977, and master of science in Aeronautical Engineering from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in 1979. He has logged over 5,000 hours flying time in 28 different types of aircraft, and over 400 carrier landings. A veteran of three space flights, Coats has logged over 463 hours in space. Mike Coats returned to NASA in November 2005 to serve as Director, Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas.