Coalfied was originally known as "Ruffner's Station" after Shack Ruffner, an early settler who built a mill in the area. The name "Coalfield" reflects the community's coal mining tradition. It was the site of Coalfield Camp No. 1 and Coalfield Camp No. 2. Coalfield still keeps to its rural roots, having only a four-way stop, a small grocery store that supplies basic needs, and a gas station.
A Morgan County public school, Coalfield School is located in the heart of the community. It includes all grades from kindergarten to grade 12. Enrollment is approximately 500, averaging 45 to 50 graduates every year. The school's mascot is the Yellow Jacket. Coalfield High is noted for its football program, previously coached by University of Tennessee star Gary Kreis.
Sid Hudson, baseball player and coach, was a native of Coalfield.
Gary Kreis, Football player for the University of Tennessee between 1967-1969. He played WR position. He joined the coaching staff at Coalfield School in 1979, and was named head coach in 1987. Kreis was one of the region's most successful head coaches. He led the Coalfield Yellow Jackets to the state semifinal game in 2004, and regularly had his teams in the state quarterfinals. He retired from coaching in 2008. Kreis is still a fixture in the Coalfield community and at University of Tennessee games.