Kentucky's Coach Who Turned Its Offensive Line Into One Of The Best In The Country While He Battles Stage 4 Cancer Is A Bigger Badass Than You'll Ever Be

[The Athletic] - The night before that Florida game, in front of the dozen or so Kentucky offensive linemen under Schlarman’s charge, after he regaled them with stories of Schlarman’s grit and guts, Watts asked:

“Do y’all even realize what a total badass your coach is?”

On July 30, 2018, the results of an MRI told a scary story. Schlarman had cholangiocarcinoma, an uncommon and hard-to-treat cancer that forms in the bile ducts that carry digestive fluids and connect the liver to the gallbladder and small intestine. There were tumors, too many to count, in his liver, lungs and the lining of his stomach. Stage 4. 

The next day, Schlarman went back to work.

“I blacked out for a minute,” All-SEC center Drake Jackson said. “But the very next thing he said was, ‘You know what? Screw that. I’m going to be here. I’m going to make you guys forget that I even have freakin’ cancer, OK?’

I've talked about this a bit before, but any time we can talk about someone kicking cancer's ass, I'm going to do it. Kentucky has two guys on its football family battling cancer. One is its defensive captain Josh Paschal, the other is the offensive line coach John Schlarman. The dude is kicking cancer's ass and will be a bigger badass than me, you and everyone else combined. I highly recommend reading the entire story with all the quotes, because it just shows how crazy it all is and how great of a guy Schlarman is. 

Look at some of the quotes above. He's going to make the offensive line forget that he has cancer. He doesn't give a damn and what has he done since his diagnosis? Turned Kentucky's offensive line into one of the best groups in the country. They won 10 games then 8 games with a wide receiver playing quarterback and still are one of the best rushing teams in the country. The offensive line is graded out consistently as one of the best groups week after week. All thanks to John Schlarman. 

I know it's easy to hate Kentucky because I'm obnoxious, but it's impossible to not cheer for Schlarman. He's one of the best dudes in the sport and just continues to show up and do his job better than most in the country. As always, Go Cats and even louder fuck cancer.