A Rhode Island gridiron legend is now making a name for himself in the NFL as a coach for the Los Angeles Rams.
The folks over at La Salle Academy are torn this week: The New England Patriots are taking on a team coached by one of their very own, Liam Coen.
Since his high school days at La Salle, South Kingstown’s Coen has been a star. He won the Gatorade Player of the Year for Rhode Island and went on to play quarterback at UMass.
“When you see any of your former players or former students doing well, you smile. You’re happy for that kid, you’re happy for that family and Liam’s no different,” La Salle football coach Geoff Marcone told NBC 10 News.
Marcone could see it in Liam from the beginning. But he knew Liam always wanted more.
His best friend, Rob Raso, who is now the wrestling coach at La Salle, could see it, too.
“I watched him put in the hours, leaving at 8 in the morning and not getting home until 11:30 at night and he was making pennies coaching college,” Raso said.
But that hard word and determination paid off.
Coen is now the assistant wide receivers coach for the Rams, but he always remembers where he came from and is bringing Raso and other friends out for the Super Bowl to thank them for their support.
“To have those kinds of friends that I’ve stayed so close with over the years, to have them down here to watch the Super Bowl is unbelievable,” he said.
Raso will repay the favor, with Coen to serve as best man in his wedding this summer.
“Maybe he’ll have a big ring to wear to that wedding,” Raso said. “That would be nice.”
Raso and Marcone, along with other friends, say they have unflinching support for a man who will seemingly always be a Ram.
“Coaching in the Super Bowl, you can’t get any higher than that, and I can’t be any more happy for this kid,” Marcone said.