Rams hiring Kentucky’s Liam Coen to replace Kevin O’Connell as offensive coordinator, per report

The Los Angeles Rams are hiring Kentucky offensive coordinator Liam Coen to be their new offensive coordinator, according to Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer. Coen had served on Sean McVay’s staff from 2018-20 in roles as assistant wide receivers and quarterbacks coach. 

Coen, 36, was in attendance for the Rams’ road playoff victory over Tampa Bay last month. He will replace Kevin O’Connell, who took the head coaching vacancy in Minnesota. 

Under the guidance of Coen, Kentucky embraced a more diverse offense relative to one that had been run heavy in prior years. UK players combined for 366 pass attempts (up from 243 in 2020), 2,933 passing yards (up from 1,336 in 2020) and 24 receiving touchdowns (up from 7 in 2020). 

The Wildcats finished second in the SEC East with a 10-3 record, including 5-3 in-conference. Mark Stoops’ team capped the season with a 20-17 win over Iowa in the Citrus Bowl and the program reached 10 wins for the second time in four years. Prior to Stoops, the program had not reached 10 wins in a single season since 1977.

Among the notable offensive draft prospects to come out of Lexington this year are wide receiver Wan’Dale Robinson, center Luke Fortner, offensive lineman Darian Kinnard and offensive tackle Dare Rosenthal. 

Coen, a native of Rhode Island, had previously been a quarterback at UMass as well as an offensive coordinator at Maine.

Coaching under McVay has been a career stepping stone for multiple current NFL head coaches, such as Brandon Staley and O’Connell. Coen may now be firmly in the crosshairs as a candidate next offseason. 

After being aggressive by acquiring Matthew Stafford, Von Miller and Odell Beckham Jr., the Rams concluded the regular season with a 12-5 record before wins over the Cardinals, Buccaneers and 49ers sent them to the Super Bowl. Valuable contributors such as offensive guard Austin Corbett, running back Sony Michel, center Brian Allen and Beckham are slated to be free agents this offseason. 

Los Angeles had also considered LSU passing game coordinator Cortez Hankton, Falcons quarterbacks coach Charles London, former Raiders offensive coordinator Greg Olson and Rams assistant head coach/running backs coach Thomas Brown but Coen always seemed to be mentioned in a more likely light. 

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