Late UK O-line coach’s family welcomed by Troy University

Published 2:31 pm Friday, October 21, 2022

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John Schlarman obviously had a huge impact on the University of Kentucky football program, first as a player and then as the offensive line coach who built the Big Blue Wall before his death at age 45 during the 2020 season after a two-year battle with cancer.

However, Schlarman’s legacy at Troy University, where he coached from 2007-2012, is just as solid. Thanks to a gift from West Virginia coach Neal Brown and his wife, Brooke, the offensive line meeting room at Troy now has Schlarman’s name. Brown coached with Schlarman at Troy and then the two came to UK together to work for coach Mark Stoops when he got the Kentucky job.

Current Troy coach Jon Sumrall, a former UK player, and defensive coach, noted that Schlarman impacted so many lives by the way he lived his life.

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“He inspired me by his attitude, toughness, and love for others, and his legacy will live on with Troy Football forever,” Sumrall said.

After being diagnosed with cholangiocarcinoma in the summer of 2018, Schlarman continued to coach and did not miss a game despite undergoing chemotherapy until the final two contests in 2020 before his passing.

Schlarman helped the Trojans win four consecutive Sun Belt Conference championships, and Troy offensive linemen earned All-Sun Belt honors 10 times during his tenure.

Schlarman’s wife, LeeAnne Federspiel Schlarman, and children were in Troy for the naming ceremony. She said it was a “wonderful and emotional” weekend seeing friends and former players.

She thanked the Browns for their financial support and Sumrall and his wife, Ginny, for “making my kids feel a part of such a wonderful program.”