You are here
Home > Kentucky Football > The Most Inspirational Coach in America

The Most Inspirational Coach in America

By Dr. John Huang

When you think about inspirational football coaches, Vince Lombardi, Dick Vermeil, and George Allen come immediately to mind. Listen to them talk for five minutes, and you’re ready to run through a brick wall.

But talk is cheap. We all know that actions speak louder than words.

Kentucky assistant football coach John Schlarman walks his talk. The offensive line coach, currently in his seventh year at UK, was diagnosed with cholangiocarcinoma a couple of years ago. His ongoing battle has been well chronicled–of how he never misses games or practices despite ongoing treatment sessions that would bring lesser men to their knees.

I know firsthand what it’s like to have cancer. It not only drains you physically, but it takes a heavy emotional toll.

And yet, not only does John Schlarman soldier on, he’s played an integral part in the culture change associated with the current success of UK Football.

Update on health status

Coach Schlarman talked with Michael Bennett this morning on the radio show and gave an update on his health status.

“It’s just one of those things, you take it day by day,” he said. “I’m still under treatment, getting those every two weeks right now. Next week is a big week coming up with a meeting with the doctors. Going to re-scan and see where everything is. We just pray that everything continues to go in a good direction and remains stable. Anybody who’s been through this or has been touched by anybody else who’s been through this–you know there’s not a lot of answers all the time.”

Update on football fortunes

Coach Schlarman then talked glowingly about the meteoric rise of the football program–giving due credit to the many players who have gone before and set the standard. He also talked about the importance of development in the weight room, the amazing difference that depth makes, and the emphasis from day one that head coach Mark Stoops has placed on the offensive line.

Coach Schlarman also gave props to Coach Stoops regarding the “family atmosphere” created for all the coaches by UK’s head man and his wife Chantel. That definitely contributes to the loyalty and continuity you see within the current coaching staff. Happy coaches make for winning coaches.

“At the end of the day, we’re in it to win ballgames,” said Schlarman. “That’s what we really try to focus on and put our attention towards.”

Put me in, Coach. I’m ready to run through that brick wall.

Check out the entire interview here.

Michael talks with UK Football offensive line coach John Schlarman

Dr. John Huang
Dr. John Huang is a retired orthodontist and military veteran. As a lifelong Wildcat fan, a fledgling author, and an occasional guest host of Just the Cats Radio, he's now living out his dream as a UK Sports columnist. Dr. Huang also covers professional sports on a regional level. You can follow him on Twitter @KYHuangs or contact him If you enjoy his writing, you can also read more at

Leave a Reply