Lifestyle & Human Interest

'God Works in Mysterious Ways': The Amazing Happens When University of Michigan Wears Patches Honoring Fallen Hero


On Saturday night, the Michigan Wolverines handily defeated the Iowa Hawkeyes to claim their first Big Ten title in 17 years. As impressive as this performance was, the final score of the game was special in more ways than one.

Michigan players wore a patch with the number 42 and the letters “TM” to honor Tate Myre, the hero who died during the school shooting at Oxford High School in Michigan last week.

Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh said the idea to honor Myre came from Aidan Hutchinson, a standout defensive end and team leader. Harbaugh took the idea to Michigan Athletic Director Warde Manuel, and he helped pull everything together.

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“When you read all the accounts and talking to Coach Line at Oxford High School, Tate was a warrior, football player, wrestler, best athlete in the school,” Harbaugh said. “And, you know, best athlete in the school could have easily made it out of that school and been the first one out.”

“But you just know that he was — while people were running away from that fire, he was running into it. And he’s a hero.”

Witnesses of the tragic shooting said Myre was running toward the gunman while everyone tried to escape, the Detroit Free Press reported.

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“I was told that everybody in that school was running one way, and Tate was running the other way,” Oxford football coach Ross Wingert said.

After Myre was shot, an Oakland County, Michigan, sheriff’s deputy put him into a car and tried to rush him to the hospital, according to the Free Press. Sadly, Myre died on the way there.

In addition to the patches, the Wolverines were able to invite Myre’s parents to the Big Ten championship game on Saturday. Harbaugh said it was “incredible” to have them there.

“You know, it’s a community that needs all of our prayers, every one of them,” Harbaugh said. “And we just — yeah, we wanted to offer that up.

“We wanted to offer our prayers to a community that desperately needs it and offer them up to the one who conquered death, and also honor Tate Myre and his bravery, his courage.”

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With Myre’s family in attendance and patches on their jerseys, the Wolverines accomplished something incredible. Not only did they win the Big Ten, but they did so by scoring 42 points, the same number Myre wore on the field for Oxford.

“God works in mysterious ways, man,” Hutchinson said. “You know, it’s crazy.”

Iowa has boasted a top-15 defense this season, and they came into Saturday’s match-up allowing just 17.25 points per game, according to the NCAA website. That made Michigan’s 42-3 victory even more impressive.

Harbaugh said he did not think about the special score until kicker Jake Moody kicked the extra point to make the score 42-3 in the fourth quarter. At that point, he said he went to Hutchinson and said, “Hey Aidan, that’s 42 up there.”

“I know, goosebumps,” Hutchinson responded.

With the win, Michigan earned its way into the College Football Playoff.

The Wolverines will take on the Georgia Bulldogs on Dec. 31, ESPN reported. When they do, Harbaugh said the team will “absolutely” wear the patches once again.

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Grant is a graduate of Virginia Tech with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He has five years of writing experience with various outlets and enjoys covering politics and sports.
Grant is a graduate of Virginia Tech with a bachelor's degree in journalism. He has five years of writing experience with various outlets and enjoys covering politics and sports.