Coen rejoins Kentucky staff as offensive coordinator

Published 10:47 am Friday, January 13, 2023

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Liam Coen made an impact in his only season at Kentucky.

After one season in the same capacity with the Los Angeles Rams, Coen officially announced his plans to return to the Bluegrass on Tuesday, ending speculation that he would rejoin Mark Stoops’ staff as offensive coordinator.

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A year ago, Coen helped lead the Wildcats to a 10-3 season and a win over Iowa in the Citrus Bowl.

“I’m very excited to welcome Liam and his family back to Kentucky,” Stoops said. “It was evident that he made a dramatic impact in the one season he was with our team. He brings a great deal of knowledge, and he also brings an excitement that players and recruits can relate to.”

Under Coen, the Wildcats ranked fifth in the Southeastern Conference in scoring offense and eighth in total offense. Kentucky also ranked fifth in rushing offense.

“Ashley and I are thrilled to be back in Lexington” Coen said. “I want to thank Coach Stoops and Mitch Barnhart for the amazing opportunity. I also want to thank Coach McVay for his mentorship and guidance and the Rams organization for their support throughout this process. I can’t wait to get to work in helping lead the UK offense and bring a championship to Big Blue Nation!”

Coen signed a three-year contract on Dec. 12 that will pay him $1.7 million next season and increase $100,000 over the next two years.

Before Kentucky, Coen spent three years on the Rams’ staff from 2018-20. He served as assistant wide receivers coach in 2018 and 2019 before taking on assistant quarterbacks coach in 2020, when he helped Jared Goff post his fourth-consecutive season with 3,800 or more passing yards.

In 2019, Coen helped L.A.’s receiving unit produce two receivers with over 1,000 receiving yards for the second-consecutive season, a feat that had not been accomplished since a streak of four seasons from 1999-2002. WR Robert Woods posted his second-consecutive 1,000-yard season, finishing with 1,134. WR Cooper Kupp tallied his first 1,000-yard season, leading the team with 1,161 receiving yards.

With the help of Coen, who coached in the Super Bowl his first year in the league, the Rams quickly acclimated 2018 offseason acquisition Brandin Cooks into the league’s No. 3 scoring offense. Last season, Cooks (1,204) and fellow WR Robert Woods (1,219) posted career-highs in receiving yards while becoming the first Rams receiving duo to surpass 1,000 yards each since Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce in 2006.

Coen spent the 2016-17 seasons serving as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at the University of Maine. Coen was the signal caller for Maine for two years and was instrumental in QB Dan Collins’ emergence in 2016, as well as the growth of freshman QB Chris Ferguson in 2017. Collins signed with the Buffalo Bills and eventually played for Ottawa in the Canadian Football League.

Under Coen in 2017, the Black Bears had the fourth-best scoring offense in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA), which was spearheaded by RB Josh Mack who led the FCS in rush yards per game. Mack rushed for 1,335 yards and nine touchdowns, averaging 5.5 yards per carry and 133.5 rushing yards per game during the 2017 campaign. As a unit, the Black Bears averaged 24.6 points and 388.4 total yards per game during the 2017 season, after putting up 22.3 points and 357.6 total yards per contest in 2016.

Prior to his time at Maine, Coen spent the 2014-15 season as the pass game coordinator and quarterbacks coach at his alma mater, the University of Massachusetts. He mentored First-Team All-Mid-American Conference QB Blake Frohnapfel, who signed NFL contracts with the New Orleans Saints and Indianapolis Colts.

He also served as the quarterbacks coach at Brown University in 2010 and from 2012-13 and as the pass game coordinator and quarterbacks coach at the University of Rhode Island in 2011. During the 2010 season at Brown, Coen’s assistance on offense helped lead the Bears to the Ivy League’s top passing game, averaging 244.3 yards. His quarterback, Kyle Newhall-Caballero, eventually signed with the Oakland Raiders. In 2011 at Rhode Island, his first and second-string quarterbacks both ranked in the top 10 in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) in total offense.