Sons of Anarchy actor to be honoured by University of Saskatchewan

Kim Coates will soon be a doctor of letters thanks to an honorary degree from the University of Saskatchewan, but he's probably best known as Saskatoon's favourite onscreen outlaw.

Coates, who is originally from Saskatoon, is best known for his television role as Tig Trager on Sons of Anarchy.

Coates will receive the honorary degree at the university's spring convocation.  

"It's a true honour and I'm really humbled by it," Coates told CBC Radio's Saskatoon Morning.

From the hockey rink to Hollywood

Coates, who studied drama at the University of Saskatchewan, credits the university for helping to forge his career and admitted that he didn't walk onto campus with much knowledge of the arts.

"Who is Tennessee Williams? Shakespeare is what?" Coates joked.

"I was the jock — six feet tall; buck-ninety; hockey player; had never seen a play in my life; stumbled onto drama as an elective; refused to wear tights in my first movement class," he said.

"I knew nothing, but by the time I had left I learned so much about myself and art and poetry and sharing and gay and straight and what really matters in the word. I'm telling you, it changed my life."

Giving back 

Coates, however, is not being recognized by the U of S solely for his transition from hockey player to Hollywood star. He's also involved in a number of charities, including Creative Kids Saskatoon, which helps expose young people to arts and culture.

"It's important for me to come home and spread the word of art in that beautiful province of Saskatchewan," he said.

Coates is looking forward to coming home to accept his honorary degree, but when asked what he likes best about Saskatoon he answered like a person who has been living in Los Angeles for a while.

"Pretty much everything except the winters," he said. "I can't cope. It's too much."