Run it back.
The Kentucky football program is bringing Liam Coen back to the Bluegrass, where he'll serve as the team's offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, once again.
The decision was publicly announced Tuesday, after weeks of speculation regarding a possible return. Coen's new contract with the university, which is public record, was signed on December 12th and went into effect January 9th. It's a 3-year deal worth $1.7 million this year, up to $1.9 million beginning July 1st, 2025 through June 30th, 2026.
“Ashley and I are thrilled to be back in Lexington” Coen said via press release. “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 originally came to Lexington in the spring of 2021, and he served as Kentucky's offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for the entirety of the 2021 season. That year ended with the Cats winning ten games, including victories over Florida and LSU at home, Louisville on the road and Iowa in the 2021 Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Florida.
Coen is also credited with bringing quarterback Will Levis into the program.
“I'm very excited to welcome Liam and his family back to Kentucky,” Mark Stoops said in a press release Tuesday. “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.”
His success throughout that initial season with the Wildcats prompted Coen's former employer - the L.A. Rams - to offer him the opportunity to serve as the reigning Super Bowl Champions' offensive coordinator, under head coach Sean McVay.
He was gracious in his exit, telling BBN Tonight reporter Maggie Davis, at the time: "the opportunity presented by Sean [McVay] and the Rams to rejoin their organization was one that my family and I just could not pass up. It would not have been at all possible without this year spent in Lexington with Coach Stoops, the staff/players and of course BBN."
Liam Coen's statement to @BBNTonight about the #BBN and his new gig with the Rams ⬇— BBN Tonight (@BBNTonight) February 25, 2022
We'll have the latest on UK football tonight at 7:30 on @LEX18News and https://t.co/ennDLoTzHP pic.twitter.com/NCJlgfpzgv
With Coen on his way back to Los Angeles, Mark Stoops and the Wildcats brought in Rich Scangarello, who has since been fired after one season with the Cats.
Now, the reunion.
In his first season back with the program, he'll work with NC State transfer quarterback, Devin Leary.
What Coen won't have to worry about next year is the wide receiver room, which will return two of the most-explosive young receivers in the SEC, in Barion Brown and Dane Key. Both players had outstanding seasons as true freshmen this year, with Brown being named to the All-SEC First Team as a wide receiver, an all-purpose player and a return specialist. He finished his rookie campaign with 45 total receptions for 604 yards and four touchdowns.
Meanwhile, Key had some of the most-memorable grabs of the year, especially his 55-yard touchdown catch against the Florida Gators in the Swamp in week two of the season.
Key also picked up an All-America honorable mention nod from College Football News this year.
Fellow receiver Tayvion Robinson has also recently announced a return to the Bluegrass, so he'll have the opportunity to work under Coen, as well.
For the latest on the Wildcats, watch BBN Tonight weeknights at 7:30 p.m. on the official station for Big Blue Nation, LEX 18 News.
The show is also syndicated throughout Kentucky and available 24/7, on BBNTonight.com.
The BBN crew is also coming your way with more on the Cats every weekend, thanks to BBN Gameday! The 30-minute show is the perfect way to start your weekend and catch up on all of the biggest stories happening around the world of UK Athletics.
It airs Saturdays at 9 a.m. on LEX 18, statewide on local UK Sports Network TV affiliates, and all the time on BBNGameday.com.