Matt Coates was appointed the Sheriff of Erath County by the Commissioner's Court following the unexpected death of longtime Sheriff Tommy Bryant in December of 2016.. Matt's qualifications, character and ability to lead were all important considerations for his appointment by the court and his decisive victory in the 2018 Special Election where he was elected without a runoff in a four person race.
Matt began his law enforcement career in his hometown of Big Spring located in Howard County, Texas. While with the Howard County Sheriff’s office Matt served as Lieutenant over Patrol, Criminal Investigations and Training before becoming Chief Deputy. While in Howard County, Coates also served as the SWAT team leader for Big Spring PD/HCSO SWAT.
In September of 2013, the Coates family realized a longtime dream of moving to Erath County where he worked for the Erath County Sheriff’s Office before taking a position as investigator for the District Attorney’s Office.
When asked to describe his thoughts about being the Erath County Sheriff Coates replied "Growing up in Texas every little boy dreamed of growing up and being Matt Dillon. Being the Sheriff of the Cowboy Capital of the World is that dream coming true for me. Marshall Dillon was tough as nails but fair, he was an involved member of his community who had a true servant's heart. I hope the same can be said about me."
Coates and his wife Denys, a Pharmacist, moved to Stephenville in 2013 and have three children, two of which attend Stephenville ISD.
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