Ronnie Dean Coleman was born on May 13, 1964, in Monroe, Louisiana. In 1984 he graduated cum laude from Grambling State University (GSU) with a BSc in accounting. While at the university, he played American football as a middle linebacker with the GSU Tigers under coach Eddie Robinson. After graduation, he failed to find work as an accountant and instead went to work at a Domino's Pizza outlet, where he would eat the complimentary pizza every day due to being so poor that he could barely afford to eat outside of work. He then became a police officer in Arlington, Texas, where he served as an officer from 1989 to 2000 and a reserve officer until 2003.