Coen was renamed offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at the University of Kentucky on the morning of Tuesday, January 10. Before handling the offensive reins for the Rams, Coen spent the 2021 season running the Wildcats’ offense when the school went 10-3 overall. The university made the official announcement on social media with the caption “let’s run it back.”
Per Matt Jones of Kentucky Sports Radio, Coen has signed a three-year deal worth up to $1.8 million annually, which he says is “big money for an OC and shows UK commitment to Football.”
UK Head Coach & Coen React to Move
Per the school website, Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops shared how he realized how impactful Coen’s coaching and play-calling was on the Wildcat offensive players — hence the reason to bring him back to Lexington.
“I’m very excited to welcome Liam and his family back to Kentucky,” Stoops said in the release. “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.”
Coen, meanwhile, provided this statement.
“Ashley and I are thrilled to be back in Lexington” Coen said. “I want to thank Coach Stoops and [athletic director] Mitch Barnhart for the amazing opportunity. I also want to thank Coach [Sean] 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 took a unit that was once near the bottom of every statistical category in the Southeastern Conference and nation and accomplished the following: Ranking fifth in scoring offense in the SEC at 32.3 points per game, fifth in rushing offense at 199.5 yards per game and placed eighth in total offense with 425.2 yards per game.
The 2022 Rams offense, however, was met with dismal results in a season full of injuries and struggles. The Rams ended up placing at the bottom in average total yards per game with 280.5 yards per game. They also had the worst rushing yards per game average among NFC West teams with 97.7 yards per game. The Rams also scored the fewest points among division teams with 307 and an average of 18.1 points per game.
Where Rams Could Pivot Next
With Coen’s departure, it now means Sean McVay has lost his offensive coordinator for the second straight offseason as Kevin O’Connell left following the Super Bowl and took over the Minnesota Vikings.
McVay is already facing questions of his own coaching future. He reiterated with reporters on Monday, January 9 that he wants to take some time to see what’s best for him and if it involves coaching or walking away. But regardless, the Rams will be in the market for a new offensive coordinator and these names bear watching:
Kliff Kingsbury: The recently fired Arizona Cardinals coach could be an option…and someone who could coax McVay into coming back in 2023. The two are friends away from the field and, per The Athletic’s college football insider Bruce Feldman Monday, a potential linking of McVay and Kingsbury on the same staff is “something to keep an eye on.”
Thomas Brown: Perhaps the Rams go in-house and promote Brown to full-time offensive coordinator. Brown is popular among Ram players and was credited for helping rejuvenate Cam Akers after briefly disappearing from the facility during September and October. Brown, however, has been mentioned as a head coaching possibility elsewhere and last season interviewed for the Miami Dolphins job.
Zac Robinson: He’s another internal move the Rams have an option with. Robinson has coached the quarterbacks for four seasons and has held passing game coordinator duties. He’s recently credited for helping rejuvenate Baker Mayfield.
Frank Reich: The former Indianapolis Colts head coach, who was fired during the 2022 season, is a surprise name. However, Rams insider Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic revealed on Monday she had heard “some interest” in the Rams possibly going with a veteran like Reich.