The Kentucky football team, UK Athletics and all of Big Blue Nation lost an iconic member of their family this week. On Thursday morning, offensive line coach John Schlarman passed away following his two year battle against cancer. He was just 45.
With heavy hearts, Kentucky played host to the Vanderbilt Commodores for Saturday’s game. On the first play of the game, Kentucky left their left guard positions unfilled and took a delay of game penalty. That spot was once filled by Schlarman during his time as a player at Kentucky. Respectfully, the Commodores declined the penalty.
Goosebumps.@UKFootball leaves the Left Tackle position open for the first play from scrimmage and takes a delay of game penalty in honor of OL Coach John Schlarman who passed away after his battle with cancer.— Peter Burns (@PeterBurnsESPN) November 14, 2020
Vanderbilt declines the penalty.
Emotional day in Lexington. pic.twitter.com/uJrkCTUKn7
The Wildcats would then march down the field in electrifying fashion to score the game’s first touchdown.
In addition to the delay of game, star tackle Landon Young wore number 65 in honor of his former position coach. The Big Blue family will probably never be able to honor Schlarman enough, but doing our best to live the way John Schlarman is a good way to start.
This is powerful. @UKFootball left the LG position open on the first play of the game to honor late OL coach John Schlarman who died on Thursday. Vanderbilt declined the penalty. pic.twitter.com/hRA5bYTPaJ— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) November 14, 2020
Schlarman was best known for his attitude, work ethic, positivity, character and how much of a warrior he was. How he put everyone else before himself and prioritized not just coaching up young talents into good football players but also coaching them up to become respectable men.
Coach Schlarman may have not physically been on the field Saturday, but he’ll live on forever in the hearts of Big Blue Nation.