John Schlarman to Receive Broyles Lifetime Achievement Award

John Schlarman to Receive Broyles Lifetime Achievement Award

by Susan Lax

Former University of Kentucky offensive line coach John Schlarman has been given posthumously the Broyles Lifetime Achievement Award, it was announced today by the Frank & Barbara Broyles Foundation.
In the summer of 2018, Schlarman was diagnosed with cholangiocarcinoma. Despite the diagnosis, he continued to coach through countless treatments, and horrific side effects of those treatments. He did not miss a game (and rarely missed a practice) until Oct. 24, 2020 at Missouri. His final appearance on the sidelines was Oct. 17 at Tennessee in UK’s first in Knoxville since 1984. Schlarman passed away just three weeks later, on Nov. 12, 2020.
Schlarman was an original member of head coach Mark Stoops’ staff in 2013, working tirelessly to help rebuild a football program that he loved dearly.  A perfect fit for Stoops’ blue-collar approach, Schlarman’s offensive line, affectionately known as the “Big Blue Wall,” played a key role in the process that culminated with four consecutive bowl appearances from 2016-19. In 2018, UK went 10-3, the school’s first 10-win season in 41 years, topped by a win over Penn State in the VRBO Citrus Bowl.  UK followed with a win over Virginia Tech in the 2019 Belk Bowl.

During the last four seasons, Kentucky broke numerous school records, including single-season records for most rushing yards, most rushing touchdowns and most rushing yards per attempt. In 2016, ’19 and ’20, Schlarman’s Cats were semifinalists for the Joe Moore Award given to the nation’s top offensive line.
Individually, guards Logan Stenberg and Bunchy Stallings earned All-America honors under Schlarman. Stenberg, Stallings, centers Jon Toth and Drake Jackson, and tackle Landon Young received All-SEC accolades.  The linemen helped pave the way for a 1,000-yard rusher in each of the 2016-19 seasons, Stanley “Boom” Williams, Benny Snell Jr. and Lynn Bowden Jr.  Snell reached the 1,000-yard mark three times and left UK as the school’s all-time leading rusher. 

This season, the Wildcats rank fifth in the Southeastern Conference in rushing at 187.7 yards per game and Kentucky’s offensive line has paved the way for top rusher, Chris Rodriguez Jr., to average 6.9 yards per carry which leads the SEC and ranks 12th nationally. Playing in just eight games, he has totaled 701 rushing yards and a team-high nine touchdowns.
UK has three current players with more than 1,000 career rushing yards (Rodriguez, A.J. Rose and Terry Wilson), with a fourth player nearing that landmark (Kavosiey Smoke). UK also had three 100-yard rushers (Rodriguez, Rose and Wilson) in a single game (vs. Ole Miss) for the first time in school history.

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