Tommy Coyne played for Hillwood Boys Club before starting his professional career at Clydebank, where he made his debut in the 1981-2 season, in which he scored 9 goals in 31 matches.
After scoring 19 in 38 matches in his second season, he began the 1983-4 season with 10 goals in 11 games before being sold to Dundee United, then a rising force in Scottish football as part of the New Firm, for £60,000.
However, Coyne failed to reproduce his form at Tannadice and scored only 9 goals in 62 games, though he did score a few goals in the UEFA Cup. Halfway through the 1986-7 season he was transferred to city rivals Dundee, where he found his scoring boots again, notching up 9 goals in 20 games in the second half of the season. In the 1987-8 season Coyne was top scorer in the Premier Division as he scored 33 goals in 43 matches. After scoring 9 goals in 20 matches at the start of the 1988-9 season he was sold on to Celtic.
Coyne again failed to reproduce his form at the start of his Celtic career and did not score for the remainder of the season. The following season was also hardly a success, with 7 goals in 23 games. The next season, 1990-1 saw Coyne revert to his previous form with 18 goals in 26 games, as he finished the season as top scorer. Despite scoring 15 goals in the following season and 3 in 10 games at the start of the 1992-3 season, Coyne was transferred to Tranmere Rovers in March 1993.
After a short spell in England, Coyne returned to Scotland to join Motherwell in November 1993 for £125,000. In 1994-5 he was again the Scottish Premier Division's top scorer, and scored 59 goals in 132 games for Motherwell.
Coyne left for Dundee in 1998, where he was loaned out to Falkirk. He then returned to his first club, Clydebank, as player-manager in 2000. However, he was sacked after six months after the club had entered administration despite the club being near the top of Division Two. Soon after leaving Clydebank he joined Albion Rovers, where he ended his playing career.
Since finishing his playing career, Coyne has coached Junior club Bellshill Athletic. The club won the West Division One in 2003-4, but Coyne was sacked in July 2005.
In his international career, Coyne won 22 caps, and was in the Ireland squad for the 1994 World Cup finals. He played in all of their games, often as a lone striker due to the injury to Niall Quinn and Jack Charlton's use of a five-man midfield.