Pre NFL Career
While attending Ribault High School in Jacksonville, Florida, Coles played Football, Basketball, and ran track. In football, he rushed for nearly 5,000 yards in his career, was named to the Blue Chip Dream Team, and was a first team Class 4A All-State selection. In basketball, he was a member of a state championship team as a senior. In track, he recorded a time of 10.6 seconds in the 100 meter dash and 21.8 seconds in the 200-meter dash. Due to a scandal at Florida State which resulted in Coles's dismissal from the team, he often refers to his high school when introducing himself on Monday Night Football.
First spell with Jets
Coles was taken with the 16th pick of the third round (78th overall) in the 2000 NFL Draft. He played three seasons with the Jets, catching 170 passes and 13 touchdowns. Coles's first career touchdown catch came in the Jets' Monday Night Miracle victory against the Miami Dolphins on October 23, 2000.
After a spectacular 2002 season, Coles signed with the Washington Redskins in the 2002 offseason and admitted that he left the Jets because the Redskins offered him more money. He made the Pro Bowl for the Redskins in 2003. At the end of the 2004 season, Coles left the Redskins because of a lack of a deep passing game from Joe Gibbs's conservative 2004-2005 offense. He was traded back to the Jets in 2005 for Santana Moss.
Second spell with Jets
After a disappointing season in 2005, Coles enjoyed a rebirth in 2006, catching a career high 91 passes. On December 26, 2005 he caught the last touchdown in Monday Night Football's last game on ABC. After playing in pain for much of the 2007 season with a high ankle sprain, Coles was placed on injured reserve on December 22. The 2008 season was not a happy one for Coles. His beloved friend, quarterback Chad Pennington was cut, after the Jets signed Brett Favre.
In February 2009, Coles, who was scheduled to earn a guaranteed $6 million salary for the 2009-10 season, wanted a long-term deal with the team. But when the two sides could not reach an agreement, they reached a compromise, giving Coles the right to find his own deal on the open market on the eve of free agency.
"We didn't leave on bad terms, "Coles said. "It's not out of the question that I could come back."
In September of 2005, Coles disclosed in a New York Times interview that he was molested by his stepfather between the ages of 10 to 13. Eventually the court became involved, and football was a refuge for him throughout his pain. Coles stated that he is coming forward because "...even if it's one kid who I can touch, who my story gives him the strength to come out and say something, I feel like it's worth it." On October 18, 2005, his story was aired on The Oprah Winfrey Show. Coles stated anybody dealing with such problems should not be ashamed and should let somebody know about them. Coles ran a 4.22 40 time in the NFL combine. He has two sons, Trilion and Landon, and one daughter, Taylor.