UK offensive line coach John Schlarman has passed away following a two-year battle with cancer. He was 45.
From his playing days at UK as an all-SEC offensive lineman, to the coach of the “Big Blue Wall,” he embodied the tough culture UK football has recently built.
“I’m heartbroken to learn about the passing of my friend, John Schlarman,” said UK head coach Mark Stoops. “My prayers go out to LeeAnne and the kids, Joseph, Benjamin, Matthew and Evelyn, through this very difficult time. John was everything we all strive to be – honest, tough, fair, respected. Kentucky football won’t be the same without him but his legacy will never fade. He was a fighter and we will strive every day to honor his warrior spirit.”
Schlarman was diagnosed with cholangiocarcinoma in the summer of 2018. The determination he displayed as a Kentucky football player was reflected in his fight against the disease. He continued to coach through countless treatments, and did not miss a single game until UK’s final two contests. The last game he coached was Oct. 17 at Tennessee.
“The UK Athletics family is in deep sorrow on the passing of John Schlarman,” said Mitch Barnhart, UK Director of Athletics. “Throughout the last two years, he has been an incredible inspiration. He taught people how to live and showed all of us what it means to be courageous. John was a great husband and father, teacher and leader. He will be remembered for the love he had for his family, his dedication to his players and his excellence as a coach. Our prayers and heartfelt condolences are with his family and all who knew and loved him.”
So, so heartbreaking.