You have all seen the commercials. In the Southeastern Conference, it just means more.
Things hit much differently in this league. Cathedral-like stadiums, intense rivalries, luxurious facilities, the best players in the world, monstrous television contracts, and recruiting that truly never sleeps. This is where the best come to cut their teeth, and that is even true for a coach that recently worked in the Super Bowl.
However, this will be the first major role on the big-time stage 35-year-old play-caller, Liam Coen. The New England native played quarterback for FCS UMass from 2004-08. After one season of Arena Football, Coen started his coaching journey in 2010. From there, the offensive mind would go to the Ivy League and FCS before being hired by Sean McVay after a two-year stint as Maine’s offensive coordinator.
Coen has never held a coordinator role at a big-time level with raucous crowds and major stakes riding on just about every third-down call. This will be a change for Kentucky’s newest offensive coordinator, but something Coen has waited for his entire life. In this week’s interview with Matt Jones on KSR, Coen expressed how excited he is for this new venture.
“As a kid, growing up in Rhode Island, I used to beg my dad — let’s move to Texas, let’s move somewhere where football is important. I grew up reading Friday Night Lights and just football that was my life,” said Coen. “To be at a place now that truly cares and wants to see this program do well has been really nice.”
Coen saw some of that impact while on the show. Entering the interview with just 13,000 Twitter followers, Jones asked for the BBN to go follow the new offensive coordinator. As of Saturday morning, Coen had added over 3,000 more new followers. This is the big-time.
With this stage, comes major pressure. Kentucky is now a program that expects to win most of its games and compete with programs that are in the running for a national championship. Mark Stoops brought the NFL assistant to Lexington to give the program a boost as they try to get to the next level and eventually make it to Atlanta for the SEC Championship. The stakes are high.
However, this is what the goal should be as a major football coach. The driven want to compete against the best, and now Coen has his opportunity to show the football world what he has on the biggest stage outside of the NFL.