In the wake of losing offensive line coach John Schlarman to cancer on November 12th, Kentucky‘s Head Coach Mark Stoops has chosen Jeff Jagodzinski to take over.
Jagodzinski has a long history with blocking in the college game. He was a fullback in college at Wisconsin-Whitewater, and a year after graduation, he began his coaching career.
The former Boston College Head Coach had two stints in the NFL as an offensive coordinator and has also coached offensive lines and TEs at both the college and NFL levels.
His last coaching job was in the XFL, where he was their offensive line coach. That was up until the Renegades offensive coordinator, Hal Mumme, was injured on the sidelines. Jagodzinski and running backs coach Bobby Blizzard were then promoted to co-offensive coordinator.
Already proven to be able to come into tough situations, there are huge shoes to fill in Lexington. Coach Schlarman leaves behind a legacy that will not be matched. He built the perennial top-10 offensive line while at Kentucky, known affectionately as the Big Blue Wall.
Running back Benny Snell was able to amass three seasons of over 1000 yards rushing, thanks to that line. Lynn Bowden, Jr rushed for over 1400 as a wide receiver-turned-quarterback–in less than 10 games–in 2019.
That Kentucky team ended up with over 3500 yards on the ground. What makes it even more amazing is that everyone they lined up against knew that the Wildcats were going to run the ball. No offense to Bowden, but he was not an effective passer.
Former UK guard Logan Stenberg is currently with the Detroit Lions, and former center Jon Toth was recently in the XFL with the DC Defenders. There are likely to be at least two more Wildcats in the NFL after the 2021 Draft, as well.
The last game Coach Schlarman could attend due to his health was Kentucky"s victory over Tennessee.
There will be no replacing Coach Schlarman. But hopefully, coach Jagodzinski can continue the legacy he left behind.
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