ride (on) the coattails of (someone)

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ride (on) the coattails of (someone)

To benefit from someone else's success; to use someone else's success as a means to achieve one's own. Everyone knows you've been riding on the coattails of the governor these last two years, but once her term ends, you'll be on your own! Jonathan rode the coattails of his professor to get some recognition for his own work in several esteemed academic journals.
See also: coattail, of, ride
References in periodicals archive ?
The former Cleveland Ballet was a great institution, and I am not in any way trying to replace or ride on the coattails of it," says Guadalupe.
Employers can safely ignore personal use when employees' personal flights ride on the coattails of regular business flights.
Anyone can ride on the coattails of the best and brightest of the investment community by reading Turnaround Tactician.