Liam Cohen
Tampa Bay Buccaneers photo

Middletown’s Liam Coen Takes Helm as Offensive Coordinator for Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have found the man to run their offense. On Saturday, the team announced that it has agreed to terms on a contract with Middletown, RI native Liam Coen to be their new offensive coordinator, replacing Dave Canales, who left after one season in the post to take the Carolina Panthers’ head coaching job.

Coen has split the last three seasons between the University of Kentucky and the Los Angeles Rams, serving as the offensive coordinator for both. He ran the Wildcats’ offense in 2021 and 2023 and was the OC on Sean McVay’s staff in 2022. Coen has 14 years of coaching experience overall, including four with the Rams.

“We are thrilled to welcome Liam Coen as our new offensive coordinator,” said Buccaneers Head Coach Todd Bowles. “Throughout the selection process, Liam stood out for his innovative offensive mind, exceptional coaching skills, and the remarkable impact he’s had at every level of his career. We believe his vision and approach to the game will be a tremendous asset to our team, and we look forward to the energy and expertise he brings to our coaching staff.”

In addition to his season as the Rams’ coordinator, Coen also worked on McVay’s staff as an assistant wide receivers coach in 2018-19 and an assistant quarterbacks coach in 2020. He left for Kentucky in 2021 to serve as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, returned to the Rams for one season and then went back to same position with the Wildcats last season.

The Buccaneers landed on Coen as their new play-caller after conducting seven confirmed interviews for the position. The process of replacing Canales took just over a week; now Bowles, Coen and the Bucs staff will look to find replacements for Assistant Head Coach/Run Game Coordinator Harold Goodwin and Offensive Line Coach Joe Gilbert, both of whom followed Canales to the Panthers. The offensive staff may need a new wide receivers coach, as well, if Canales hires Brad Idzik as his offensive coordinator, as reported.

During his four seasons with the Rams, Coen aided an offense that ranked among league leaders in passing yards per game (253.3; fifth), net yards per pass attempt (7.1; seventh), total yards per game (364.2; seventh), first downs per game (21.3; eighth), third-down conversion rate (42.3%; ninth), and points per game (25.1; ninth) and yards per play (5.7; 10th).

As Kentucky’s coordinator, Coen guided two of the most productive offenses in team history. The Wildcats scored 56 touchdowns in 2021 and 50 in 2023, marking two of the six season in the program’s 108-year history it hit the 50-touchdown mark. In 2021, Kentucky racked up 425 net yards per game, and in 2023 the team set a school record with 8.0 yards per touchdown. The Wildcats won 17 games in those two seasons and made two bowl appearances. Quarterback Will Levis, the 33rd-pick in the 2023 NFL Draft by Tennessee, had his best season in his one year under Coen’s tutelage, throwing for 2,826 yards and 24 touchdowns.

If the Buccaneers and pending free agent quarterback Baker Mayfield can come to terms on a new contract, this would be Coen’s second opportunity to work with the former first-overall pick. In 2022, Mayfield was claimed by the Rams after being waived by the Carolina Panthers and had a remarkable start in Los Angeles. Playing on a Thursday night against the Las Vegas Raiders just two days after he joined the team, Mayfield threw for 230 yards and a touchdown and led a game-winning drive in the game’s final three minutes. For his efforts, he was named NFC Offensive Player of the Week. Mayfield started the Rams’ final four games and also threw two touchdown passes in a 51-14 thrashing of the Denver Broncos.

Coen inherits a Buccaneers offense that sent three players to the Pro Bowl in 2023 – Mayfield, wide receiver Mike Evans and tackle Tristan Wirfs. Both Evans and Chris Godwin topped 1,000 receiving yards this past season while running back Rachaad White fell just 10 yards short of his first 1,000-yard rushing campaign. Mayfield turned in his best NFL season so far with 4,044 passing yards and 28 touchdown passes and is a finalist for the Comeback Player of the Year award.

Prior to his first stint with the Rams, Coen on the collegiate level for eight years, starting as a quarterbacks coach at Brown in 2010. He was the passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Rhode Island in 2011, then returned to Brown to tutor the quarterbacks again in 2012-13. He joined his alma mater in 2014 as the passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Massachusetts, held that job for two years then went to Maine to serve as offensive coordinator for two seasons.

Coen played quarterback at UMass and set a slew of career passing records for the Minutemen, including completions (830), attempts (1,302), completion percentage (63.7), passing yards (11,031), yards per attempt (8.5), passing touchdowns (50) and passer rating (150.7). A native of Portsmouth, Rhode Island, Coen graduated from UMass in 2008 with a degree in communications. He and his wife Ashley have one son, Jackson.




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