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UC Assistant Head Football Coach Kerry Coombs is a man of great faith. And today he feels the presence of the Almighty all the more considering the events of the last 24 hours.

Yesterday the Bearcats staged a remarkable comeback to beat the 15th ranked Pitt Panthers in Heinz Field, 45-44. They came from 21 points down to inflict a crushing defeat on the home team, which ended its promising season with back to back losses.

Football losses though, aren’t in the same realm as the loss that Coach Coombs nearly suffered yesterday, were it not for what he called a miracle of a higher order bestowed on him and his family.

Kerry’s wife was driving their daughter and his parents to Pittsburgh to see the game yesterday morning. Their car hit a patch of ice and spun out of control into the median, where it flipped no fewer than 4 times according to eye witnesses.

Kerry’s wife, daughter and mom walked away unscathed but his father Joe wasn’t quite so lucky. Joe Coombs suffered three broken ribs, two broken vertebra and a brain bruise. But he is expected to make a complete recovery.

Kerry wasn’t informed of the near tragedy until after the game whereupon he drove to Wheeling to be with his hospitalized father. He said that UC officials, especially Athletic Director Mike Thomas have moved heaven and earth to facilitate his return to Cincinnati so he can continue his convalescence at University Hospital.

“He’ll be sore for a while but he’s a tough guy and he’s going to be fine”, he told me. But he added that upon seeing pictures of the demolished car, it was nothing short of a miracle that anyone survived.


“The good Lord was with us Saturday in more ways than one”, Kerry told me. “My family and I are very fortunate.”

Our best wishes to Joe Coombs for a quick recovery.

Copyright 2009 The E.W. Scripps Co. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.