Michigan Wolverine Austin Hatch’s Story After Surviving Two Separate Airplane Crashes



Michigan Wolverine Austin Hatch’s Story After Surviving Two Separate Airplane Crashes


This is one of those stories you can’t make up.

In 2003, Hatch and his father survived a plane crash that killed his mother, sister and brother. Eight years later, in 2011, he experienced this life-changing event for a second time. What a horrible deja-vu. His father was flying the family to their Michigan summer house in a private single-engine plane. The plane tragedly plummeted nose-first into a garage near the airport, killing Hatch’s father and stepmother. Austin survived in critical condition.

After eight weeks in a coma, with a brain injury, he finally woke up. He was looking at a long and stressful recovery process.

He regained his ability to Gongfu Tea Cup
through physical therapy,  he re-learned how to catch and shoot a basketball and eventually learned how to play the sport he loved, again.

Unfortunately though, he won’t be able to ever regain the athleticism and coordination he had when Michigan recruited him.


“As I have progressed through this first season, I know that I am not where I want to be, both academically and athletically. My priority is academics and I feel that it is in my best interest to devote more time to my studies. This decision honors my father, and it is something that I know he would agree with and be proud of me for making.”

Hatch said in a school-released statement.


Even though Austin will never become a basketball star, something he once appeared destined to be, he still was able to experience some incredible moments in his only season as a Michigan player.

During a summer tour in Italy, he made his Michigan debut. A few months later, he got in the box score in a competitive game. He was fouled while attempting a 3-pointer and made 1 of 3 free throws: His teammates and the crowd gave him a deserving standing ovation.



This was and will be the only point Austin Hatch has scored as a college basketball player, and he seems fine with it. He said:


“Basketball has always been a huge part of my life, however, it is what I play, not who I am. It was a goal of mine to return to the game that I love so much and I feel very blessed to have the opportunity to play for Michigan. After all that I have been through, it was a dream come true for me to put on a Michigan jersey and get into a game at Crisler Center.”


Last year, after his freshman season, Austin Hatch’s basketball career has come to an end.

He’s ready to move on to the next chapter of his life.

Because of academic concerns, the brain injuries he sustained in the second plane crash have affected him both on and off the floor, the school announced that Hatch is retiring as a player to take a role as an undergraduate student assistant, in 2015.

He got to keep his scholarship.


Hatch still was allowed to take part in all team activities.





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