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Thursday Headlines: John Schlarman Edition

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A well-deserved honor for an incredible person

Schlarman Jason Marcum - Sea of Blue

John Schlarman was named the Herald Leader’s 2020 Kentucky Sports Figure of the Year, a much-deserved honor.

Schlarman received 76 first-place votes from a total of 163 votes cast, and was ahead of second-place finisher Rhyne Howard by a significant margin.

Schlarman was an influential figure in the state last year as he battled cancer and sadly passed away from the disease last fall. However, his courage and strength in continuing to show up for games and practices even while going through chemotherapy treatments that took an extensive toll on his body.

His determination and outlook on life in the face of such difficult circumstances served as an inspiration to many, especially the players he coached day in and day out. Simply listen to guys like Landon Young, Drake Jackson, Darian Kinnard, Luke Fortner, and others talk about the impact Schlarman had.

This also goes for his fellow coaches, including head coach Mark Stoops, who brought Schlarman on staff in Lexington when he arrived in 2013.

“The Great American was a warrior and we really miss him,” head coach Mark Stoops said on his social media last week. “Everything he did was for the team. There’s no better candidate for Sports Figure of the Year than John Schlarman.”

The Kentucky Football program is certainly not the same without Schlarman, but the program is in better shape because of his time there.

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