LEXINGTON, Ky. (WDKY) – WDKY has confirmed UK Offensive Line Coach John Schlarman has lost his battle with cancer. He was 45 years old.
Schlarman, a former All-SEC offensive guard at UK, had been the Cats’ offensive line coach since 2013. He was diagnosed with cancer in 2018.
He was an inspiration to his players and fellow coaching staff, as well as much of Big Blue Nation.
“It is motivational,” said offensive tackle Logan Stenberg of Coach Schlarman in 2018. “When I am waking up and sore and feeling under the weather I look at a man like that that went through chemo and is out on the practice fields with us and has more energy than us. It opens your eyes to what is important in life and it shows that when you want to do something, you can do it. Mind over matter and he is living that right now.”
Despite the hours of chemotherapy and trips to receive treatment, Schlarman still went to practice and spent a lot of time with the team. Just last month, in Kentucky’s 34-7 win over Tennessee, Coach Schlarman gave the team a pregame speech and then received the game ball afterward.
Schlarman’s “Big Blue Wall” has helped the Cats achieve four consecutive seasons of 2,000 or more rushing yards and advance to four consecutive bowl games. The Fort Thomas, Ky. native came to UK from Troy University, where he coached the offensive line from 2007-12.
Schlarman is married to the former Lee Anne Federspiel, daughter of former UK linebacker Joe Federspiel. They have three sons, Joseph, Benjamin and Matthew and a daughter, Evelyn.