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Prayers Up For Coach Ortmayer

Coach Steve Ortmayer “coaching” Dr. John Huang up prior to Mark Stoops’ weekly press conference.

Former University of Kentucky football coach Steve Ortmayer needs prayers from Big Blue Nation after recently being diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer and has been placed on hospice.

Ortmayer was an assistant head coach, special teams coordinator and tight ends coach at the University of Kentucky from 2003-2010 under coach Rich Brooks.

Ortmayer spent 25 years coaching in the NFL and won two Super Bowl rings as special teams coach with Oakland in 1981 and 1984. He was general manager of the San Diego Chargers and later became vice-president of football operations for the  Rams, the same team where Brooks coached.

Brooks brought Ortmayer to Kentucky with him and he became not only a valuable assistant but also a very popular coach with UK fans. I still thought one of the major mistakes Joker Phillips made when he took over after Brooks’ retirement was not keeping Ortmayer on staff.

I always loved talking with Ortmayer and he was a dynamic special teams coach. I still remember him telling me that if Jacob Tamme got drafted by the right team he would last eight to 10 years in the NFL because of his ability to play special teams, play different positions and relate to fans. He was right. Tamme got drafted by the Colts and spent nine years in the NFL.

Ortmayer was a regular on The Leach Report with Tom Leach during football season and his analysis of UK’s play was always candid and accurate.

Many former UK football players posted comments about Ortmayer on the Former UK Football Players Facebook page.

If you would like to send a card with a message or memory to Ortmayer you can do so at Steve Ortmayer, 629 Blandville Rd., Lexington, KY, 40509.

I know Coach would love to hear from fans and certainly his family would enjoy that as well.

Larry Vaught
Larry Vaught is a seven-time winner of the Kentucky Sportswriter of the Year award and has covered University of Kentucky sports since 1975. Larry now has a syndicated UK sports column appearing in 34 newspapers across the state as well as, and Larry also joins Mark Buerger and Anthony White on WLAP Sunday Morning Sports each week in Lexington as well as appearing each Tuesday with Tom Leach on The Leach Report.

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