When more than 800 people packed into the Saranac high school gym in Michigan last week, seated in front of a silver casket with a football helmet resting on top, Jack Harbaugh was right there with them.
Jack, the father of Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh, drove to the small town outside of Grand Rapids to attend the funeral of Skylar Lasby — a seventh-grader who died suddenly during football practice last month — at the behest of his son. Skyler was a huge Michigan fan, and had hoped to play there one day.
While Jim couldn’t be there himself — he was preparing for No. 10 Michigan’s bout with Army, a win the Wolverines barely escaped with in overtime — he sent a signed Michigan football with a note expressing their thoughts and prayers for the Lasby family and a special No. 2 Michigan jersey with Skylar’s name on the back.
The 2019 University of Michigan Football Team sends our condolences & prayers to Scott, Rhonda and the Lasby Family on the passing of their Son & Brother, Skylar. Know that we stand with you & God has a plan.— Coach Harbaugh (@CoachJim4UM) September 4, 2019
“We broke down, of course,” Skylar’s dad, Scott, said, via the Detroit Free Press. “We were both bawling our eyes out. I gave Jack a big hug. He was just super. He showed what a great father is like. He is a family man.”
Skylar collapsed during a non-contract drill at practice on August 28, and was airlifted to a local hospital. He died hours later, having fallen into sudden cardiac arrest caused by a congenital heart disease, per the Detroit Free Press.
He was just 12 years old.
Though he didn’t know Skylar, Jack asked if he could speak to the football program at the funeral last week. He spoke for about 15 minutes, though doesn’t remember a thing he said. It was too emotional.
“Driving home, it all sunk in,” Jack said, via the Detroit Free Press. “The gym. The parents. The players. The message.
“The gym was packed. It was so moving.”
Scott and his wife, Rhonda, attended the Wolverines’ game against Army last weekend, too — the couple’s first trip to a game in Ann Arbor.
Naturally, the jersey went with them.
“My tears are all over it,” Rhonda said, via the Detroit Free Press.
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