CARLSBAD — Carlsbad City Manager Lisa Hildabrand announced the appointment of John W. Coates to the position of parks and recreation director. Coates will assume his new duties on Jan. 4.
“John’s solid leadership and true passion for the parks and recreation field make him a wonderful addition to the city organization and the community,” Hildabrand said.
Coates was selected after an extensive nationwide recruitment to fill the director position left open when Brian Albright resigned in July. Currently, Deputy City Manager Jim Elliott is serving as the interim parks and recreation director.
As parks and recreation director, Coates will oversee a broad range of programs and services that build a strong sense of community, promote health and fitness, and encourage lifelong learning for all who live, work and play in Carlsbad. The department manages all city recreational facilities, including the Monroe Street Pool, Carlsbad Senior Center, three community centers, a skate park, athletic fields and tennis courts. The department also maintains 348 acres of city parks, civic landscapes and open space, as well as the extensive citywide trails system.
Coates brings more than 30 years of professional experience in the field, including serving as the director of community services for the city of Santee, a position he has held since 2002. Other experience includes serving as the director of parks and recreation for the city of Roanoke, Va.; the superintendent of recreation maintenance for Norfolk, Va.; and a parks district supervisor for Virginia Beach, Va. He also has worked as a regional manager for a national consulting firm providing strategic counsel to local government agencies, including resource management plans, business plans, marketing plans, capital improvement assessments and organizational analyses.
A resident of Encinitas, Coates holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Virginia Tech and a Master of Public Administration degree from Old Dominion University in Norfolk.