Casey Coane in the UWF College of Business
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Casey W. Coane

Rear Admiral (Ret.), U.S. Navy


Casey Coane began his graduate studies at UWF more than 40 years ago, as a flight instructor in the U.S. Navy. He went on to serve 34 years as a senior military leader, culminating as a Rear Admiral. Having retired from his military, civilian and non-profit careers, Coane finally graduated in 2017, continuing to promote early childhood education in his public service.

Education is the key to achieving a lot of what most of us desire in life, the ability to provide for ourselves and our children, to secure their future and receive better paying jobs, career positions and the ability to advance. A quality education means that educational institutions need to set high standards, and students need to stretch to reach their goals.

You began your graduate studies at UWF more than 40 years ago. How did it feel to complete your MBA after all these years?

While there never seemed the right time to return to school, it always bothered me that we had invested time and energy in something I let slide. Having graduated now, I am pleased that I finally “checked that box” for my master’s education. More importantly, I rediscovered the pleasure of learning in a formal academic environment, and I thank the University for that.

Education has been important in your public service. Why do you choose to focus your time and efforts in this way?

As a nation, we are in economic competition with the rest of the world, in which we need to succeed to preserve our way of life. StrongNation.org, the large group of more than 750 retired admirals and generals of which I am a part, believes that our ability to compete is a national security issue, and education is the key. A lifelong love of learning begins in the first five years, so doing what we can to ensure children arrive in kindergarten ready to learn is absolutely essential.