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By LARRY VAUGHT
Former UK offensive coordinator Tony Franklin was at Kentucky when new UK coaches Neal Brown, Chad Scott and John Schlarman played for the Cats and also hired all three at Troy when he was offensive coordinator.
“Chad was a video GA (graduate assistant) at North Carolina and had never coached before when I hired him,” Franklin said. “I recruited Chad and knew him and his family well. I knew the type person he was. He had worked my camps and I knew his coaching ability from there and thought he had a chance to be a special guy as a coach.”
What about as a recruiter?
“You never know about that stuff. To me, in recruiting there are two ways you can be good,” Franklin said. “One is being a compulsive liar, one is being honest and forthright and being a good human being. That’s the way he has made it and I knew he would be that way. A lot of times recruiting is just hard work and building a good rapport with the family and I knew he was a good person that could do that.
“But the big thing is he was passionate about the game and helping young people to be better. Chad was fortunate to grow up in a good home and become a good person. His life wasn’t easy, though, but he’s put his heart into coaching. Neal did a really good job training Chad, too. When Chad got to Troy, I told Neal to take him under his wing and teach him how to recruit. Neal is so meticulous and detail oriented and he instilled the same things in Chad.”
Franklin thought Schlarman was one of the “toughest and smartest” players he had even been around at Kentucky.
“I don’t think there was ever a tougher guy that played football. He was an undersized guy, but what I liked is you want a player who is an overachiever as a coach,” Franklin said. “Guys who the game comes easy for most times are not good coaches. They don’t get it and cannot teach it. For an overachiever like John, he gets it and understands it and can teach it to kids.
“I wanted him at Troy because he knew what we did and how we did it. I also believed in and knew he was a good human being. For me, when you are looking for a coach you want someone who is a good person, someone you want to share time with, someone you want be around their families. If not, I don’t want them coaching with me,” Franklin said. “Are they willing to learn or do they already think they know everything. A lot think they know and will not listen. I knew John would be a good listener and so does Neal.
“All these guys know each other already, know the system and know how to get along. They all want to be at Kentucky together and do great things. And they all will work their butts off to be successful because they don’t know any other way to do it and that’s what you want in a coach.”