Mark Stoops Discusses How He And Will Levis Found Out About Liam Coen Leaving For Rams

The offseason around the Kentucky football complex has been a tad hectic over the last few weeks, with Mark Stoops looking for a new offensive coordinator and offensive line coach. Stoops knew that his former OC Liam Coen might return to the Los Angeles Rams, so he tried to prepare as much as possible.

Throughout the process, Mark Stoops frequently sought the opinion of starting QB Will Levis, as he discussed on Tuesday. The decision was always up to Stoops, so the fact that he wanted Levis to be involved shows how much respect Stoops has for his quarterback. After the Super Bowl ended, Stoops kept Levis informed of what was happening regarding Coen. The funny part about this whole situation is how both Stoops and Levis found out that Coen decided to leave.

"It was hard, it definitely was. I guess I can tell the story of how it went. Will and I were in the weight room. I certainly wasn't working out, but we're in the weight room and I am just walking through, talking to guys and just checking things out. Will approached me and asked, 'What's going on (about Coen)?' And I said, 'Will, the guy is unbelievably loyal to us, he's turned down NFL opportunities, turned down college opportunities and didn't blink an eye. These are tough decisions, but he showed extreme loyalty because of the situation and he knew a year ago when he told me he needed two years minimum.'

"But I was talking to Will, literally talking to Will and I said, 'He's shown extreme loyalty here, but we do have to worry about LA.' ...This was Tuesday morning and I am talking to Will and saying, 'We just have to ride out LA. Surely (Rams head coach Sean McVay) is spent and it's been a long season. I don't know what they're gonna do.' As we were talking -- I am not shittin' ya -- (Coen) calls me and I showed Will and he just said, 'You gotta be kidding me.'"

As you probably guessed, Coen was calling to tell Stoops he'd taken the job in LA. Apparently, Coen had found out around midnight the night before that the Rams were interested in him, but he wasn't sure at the time whether it was a done deal or not. It turns out, it was.

Stoops is disappointed, of course. He knows that Coen is a great offensive coordinator. But Stoops also says he understands.

"I am really happy for him and the way things worked out. Things work out for a reason. We'll be fine, no matter what. It's the culture. It's the organization. There's a lot of things."

Stoops also said that he will continue to run the same type of system he had under Coen, which is why he went out and hired Rich Scangarello from the San Francisco 49ers. With so much leadership and talent returning this season, including Levis and Chris Rodriguez, Stoops felt it was the best move to make.

Now with spring practice just over a week away, the new coaches have enough time to get acquainted with the players and get to work.

The Wildcats will hold their Spring Game on April 9th.

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Trey Wallace is the host of The Trey Wallace Podcast that focuses on a mixture of sports, culture, entertainment along with his perspective on everything from College Football to the College World Series. Wallace has been covering college sports for 15 years, starting off while attending the University of South Alabama. He’s broken some of the biggest college stories including the Florida football "Credit Card Scandal" along with the firing of Jim McElwin and Kevin Sumlin. Wallace also broke one of the biggest stories in college football in 2020 around the NCAA investigation into recruiting violations against Tennessee football head coach Jeremy Pruitt. Wallace also appears on radio across seven different states breaking down that latest news in college sports.