In 1991, William Cofield was the first African American appointed to the Franklin County Board of Education; he was then elected to the board three times. Since 1986, he has been president of the Kentucky NAACP Conference, and has also served as president of the Franklin County NAACP Branch. In 2004, Cofield was named president of the National Caucus of Black School Board Members.
Cofield was born in LaGrange, GA, and his family moved to Pennsylvania when he was a child, and they returned to Georgia when he was a teen. He is a graduate of Fort Valley State University, Tuskegee University, and worked on his doctorate [ABD] at Ohio State University. Cofield moved to Frankfort, KY in 1973, and was a professor at Kentucky State University.