Premium Partners

Armed with an AED, Softball Coaches Save Recruit's Father

Paul Steinbach Headshot

Still on the fence about installing an automated external defibrillator in your facilities? Consider the life-or-death scenario that played out late last month at the University of Michigan's Wilpon Softball Complex.

According to Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon, members of the Wolverine coaching staff were meeting April 27 with a recruit and her father in the team lounge when the father's head tilted back. Though his eyes were wide open, he failed to respond to his name being called. The coaches immediately dialed 911, performed CPR and retrieved an AED located at the facility's front door. They opened the man's shirt, applied the defibrillator pads and stood clear as the AED told them what to do next. "Once the AED analyzed the individual, the AED read 'Shock Advised,' " Brandon wrote in his blog at "They are words that our softball coaches will never forget."

Witnessing the actual shock left a lasting impression, as well. "I don't think any description about the bounce effect does it justice until you see it," said assistant coach Jennifer Brundage, who like head coach Carol Hutchins and associate head coach Bonnie Tholl had taken training courses on CPR and the proper use of an AED. As freshman players comforted the recruit in an adjacent locker room, the ambulance arrived within minutes to transport her father to the University of Michigan Hospital.

Brandon called it "the biggest save" of his coaches' careers. "Training, practice and the resolve of this staff to save the recruit's father made these few minutes more important than any sporting event could ever be," he wrote. "Our coaching staff of Hutch, Bonnie and Jennifer did not just make our athletic department team proud, they made us realize we have true heroes in our midst."

AB Show 2022 in Orlando
AB Show is a solution-focused event for athletics, fitness, recreation and military professionals.
Learn More
AB Show
Buyer's Guide
Information on more than 3,000 companies, sorted by category. Listings are updated daily.
Learn More
Buyer's Guide