A Rhode Island high school star will soon make his mark in the NFL.
Warwick native Liam Coen will become the next offensive coordinator for the defending Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams, according to Sports Illustrated's MMQB. The former Rhode Island Gatorade Player of the Year has had a meteoric rise through the football coaching ranks. Now, the 36-year-old lands one of the best offensive coaching jobs in the nation, working for head coach Sean McVay and an impressive offensive unit.
Coen, who played for his father Tim at La Salle Academy, had a legendary high school career. He threw for 2,341 yards and 26 touchdowns as a senior while leading his team to a 10-2 record. Coen led La Salle to four consecutive Division I Super Bowl berths. That led him to the University of Massachusetts where he became arguably the greatest quarterback in that school's history. Coen started all four years at UMass en route to an All-American career, which saw him finish with nearly every school passing record.
After his playing career, Coen followed in his father’s footsteps as a football coach. He earned his stripes in the state of Rhode Island for the first four years of his career. Coen started as Brown’s quarterback coach (2010) before working at URI as the Rams’ pass game coordinator and quarterbacks coach (2011). He went back to Brown for two seasons (2012-13) as the quarterbacks coach before taking the same job at UMass for the next two seasons.
Coen continued to work in New England as the University of Maine’s offensive coordinator (2016-17) before getting a chance in the NFL. In 2018, he accepted a job as Holy Cross’s offensive coordinator before McVay and the Rams came calling. That year he joined Los Angeles as the team’s assistant wide receivers coach. After two years in that job, he was promoted to assistant quarterbacks coach in 2020.
Coen's connection with McVay came through a friendship with coach Shane Waldron, a former Patriots assistant who worked with McVay in Washington. Waldron is now the offensive coordinator with the Seattle Seahawks.
Coen’s success led him to the University of Kentucky last season where he was the Wildcats offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. He also worked with Portsmouth native Brad White, who was Kentucky’s defensive coordinator. After one season in the SEC, Coen will make his way back to the NFL in a position that could vault him to even greater heights.
The Rams job opened up after offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell was named the head coach of the Minnesota Vikings. The previous two offensive coordinators under McVay (O’Connell and Matt LaFluer) both became NFL head coaches.
This article originally appeared on The Providence Journal: Los Angeles Rams' next OC is a Rhode Island football legend