Austin Hatch

Special guest

My path to helping others overcome adversity started with a devastating twist of fate. In my early years, my childhood was one that most would dream of – filled with youth sports, family dinners, and milkshakes before bed.

Then, at the age of 8 years old, a tragic plane crash claimed the lives of my mother, sister, and brother. My father was left severely injured. My own physical injuries were minor, but the emotional pain of losing my mom and siblings at such a young age was devastating.

Even then, I understood the importance of continuing to live a life fueled by positivity and optimism in my family’s honor. The bond my dad and I shared grew stronger and we were each other’s reason to keep going.

Eventually, my dad was remarried to Kimberly, a wonderful woman with three children of her own. Together, we formed a blended family, which restored a sense of normalcy in my life. Meanwhile, I worked hard on my basketball skills, and the hours I put in were beginning to pay off. On June 15th, 2011, I was offered a full scholarship to play basketball at the University of Michigan, my mom’s alma mater. It was a dream come true.

Nine days later, a second plane crash claimed the lives of my father and second mother, and put me in the hospital in critical condition and a medically-induced coma.

Two months later, I came out of the coma and began the long road to recovery, which included re-learning how to walk, talk, eat, and live a normal life.

I achieved my goal of making it to The University of Michigan, where coach Beilein honored my scholarship. I had four great years with the basketball program and while I only scored one point, I took pride in my role and found ways to make a positive impact on our team.

After graduation, I worked in Domino’s corporate office, developed the G.R.I.T. Framework, and began my true passion of speaking to and inspiring individuals and teams to overcome adversity.

Austin Hatch has been a guest on 1 episode.