UK’s Horsey learned life lessons from Schlarman – Reuters



Collaborating columnist

There’s one thing former Kentucky offensive line coach John Schlarman pointed out to his players before his death in the 2020 season.

Kenneth Horsey says John Schlarman’s legacy is special and appreciates how Schlarman taught him to make sure he had fun playing football. British Athletics Photo

“He always wanted us to have fun. He was telling us all the time that this game was too tough not to have fun, especially at this level,” Kentucky senior offensive guard Kenneth Horsey said. “We were a tight-knit group who loved to work but also loved to have fun.”

It will be Kentucky’s second season without Schlarman, the man who played in the UK, was a graduate assistant in the UK, then returned to coach the offensive line when Mark Stoops arrived.

Schlarman recruited — or helped recruit — most of today’s linemen, including Horsey. Few people had a connection to Schlarman like Horsey.

The Florida product found out he had a heart problem and needed surgery about a month before he graduated from high school. A few months later, Schlarman was diagnosed with cancer.

“He was the embodiment of what Kentucky stands for with his toughness and kindness. He would give someone the shirt he had on his back, but he was also someone who would wage war on you. He lost his battle in the middle of the 2020 season after beating Tennessee, but he’s still a big part of our team,” Horsey said.

This was certainly true even when Schlarman was undergoing chemotherapy treatments. Horsey said it was impossible for him – or any British player – to complain when they saw what the offensive line coach endured on a daily basis for more than two years.

“He would always come out and put a smile on everyone’s face. He would be the energy guy and the guy to lean on. You’re not supposed to lean on the man with the cancer. This man is supposed to lean on you,” Horsey said.

“But that didn’t matter. This man who had cancer was so strong and resilient. He was always going to do whatever he could for you. He loved you so much.

Horsey recalls a day when Schlarman went through chemotherapy treatment and no one expected him to be in training. They thought he would go home to rest or sleep after the treatment.

“Then we all saw Coach Schlarman coming down that hill in a golf cart with a big smile on his face, ready to practice. It wasn’t a job for him. He really liked what he was doing. was doing,” Horsey said. “He helped me to not only love the football, but also to love the approach, to love the coaching. All of this is sometimes taken for granted.

Horsey wants to help others learn to take nothing for granted before having to endure what he did with heart surgery or Schlarman with cancer.

“Coach Schlarman was always there for me and that played a big part in how I was able to stay strong. How could I walk away sad or depressed or anything like that in any situation when the coach just came in from chemo and he’s still smiling,” Horsey said.

“It plays a role in his legacy. I want to pass on that determination, her courage, her drive to younger guys,” Horsey said. “His legacy will always live on through us. When you think about how you want to live your life and be the person you want to be, Coach Schlarman was the best representation of that.

“Coach Schlarman knew how much the team meant to the whole state. I love him. I miss him. His wife and kids still hang out with us. Material things aren’t your legacy. It’s the people you might be walking down the street, the people you see on social media. It’s your parents and your loved ones. It’s your legacy and how people will know you even when you’re away. or absent.You will live through other people as Coach Schlarman does.


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