The UK football team held their annual Blue-White Spring Game
John Schlarman, a former All-Southeastern Conference offensive guard at the University of Kentucky, is in his third year as offensive line coach at his alma mater.
Schlarman has turned in a solid performance while rebuilding the Wildcat forward wall. In 2014, UK improved its offensive output by more than 11 points per game and more than 69 yards of total offense per game over the 2012 season, the year before Schlarman arrived.
Looking ahead, Schlarman returns four starters from last season, and with the addition of several newcomers, has the goal of building a deeper line in 2015. Two of the building blocks are center Jon Toth and guard Ramsey Meyers, each of whom have earned SEC All-Freshman team honors -- Toth in 2013, Meyers in 2014.
Schlarman came to UK from Troy University, where he coached the offensive line from 2007-12, adding the duty of running game coordinator in 2010. He helped Troy win or share four Sun Belt Conference championships and advance to three bowl games.
Troy had one of the nation’s most productive offenses during Schlarman’s term, ranking among the nation’s top 26 in total offense in five of his six seasons at the school. The Trojans hit a No. 3 ranking in total offense in 2009 with 485.7 yards per game. Troy averaged 498.8 yards per game in 2012, ranking 13th nationally.
Featuring pass-oriented offenses, the Trojans rated as high as No. 4 in the nation in passing yardage, accomplished in 2009 at 336.5 yards per game. Troy was eighth nationally in passing in 2012 with 331.5 yards per game.
Troy also had complementary running games with Schlarman, averaging at least 149 yards per game in five of his six seasons, featuring a high mark of 182.6 yards per contest in 2007. All the yardage also has resulted in point production as the team averaged at least 30 points per game in five of his six years.
Individually, Schlarman coached eight first-team All-Sun Belt selections, including at least one first-teamer each season. Two of his linemen, Dion Small and Tyler Clark, were two-time first-team All-SBC. Another All-SBC lineman, James Brown, went on to the National Football League and played for the Chicago Bears.
Schlarman originally came to the University from Highlands High School in Ft. Thomas, Ky., where he was an all-state offensive lineman. He was a four-year starter at Kentucky from 1994-97, earning first-team All-SEC honors as a senior. He also was a member of the SEC All-Freshman Team in 1994 and was chosen the team’s most outstanding offensive lineman in 1995 and ‘96. Following his junior season, he was chosen for the “Unsung Hero All-America Team” by the College Football Chronicle.
Also an outstanding student, Schlarman was a three-year member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll and was a finalist for Academic All-America in 1997 after earning a place on the Academic All-District Team. He graduated with a degree in mathematics and later earned his master’s in sports management.
Schlarman entered coaching at Bourbon County High School, coaching the defensive line in 1998 and ‘99, helping guide the team to the state playoffs both seasons. He returned to UK as a graduate assistant coach from 2000-02, helping with the offensive line all three seasons. He also had sole responsibility of the tight ends in the ‘02 campaign when the Wildcats compiled a 7-5 record.
Schlarman re-entered the high-school ranks in 2003 as head coach at Campbell County for two seasons. He moved to Newport HS in 2004-05 and had a two-year record of 19-6, including two state playoff appearances and a district title. The best season was 2005, when Newport went 11-2 and reached the state playoff quarterfinals before losing to the eventual state champion. He was named District Coach of the Year in 2005 by the Kentucky Football Coaches Association.
Schlarman is married to the former Lee Anne Federspiel, daughter of former UK linebacker Joe Federspiel. They have three sons, Joseph, Benjamin and Matthew.