BROOMFIELD - At Tuesday's game in Broomfield the Lightning's unified basketball game felt like a homecoming, especially for Coach Kroupa.
The Legacy High School football coach who was most seriously hurt in a bus crash last September is back at work.
Matt Kroupa also coaches other sports like basketball and he marked his first game back with a buzzer beater Friday night and another win Tuesday.
"Yeah last week was my first week back," said Kroupa.
"If you ever walk the halls with me they yell Kroupa," he said about returning to work, "which is pretty much what I got, which felt good."
Kroupa has taught at Legacy for ten years and was coaching football in September when the team landed after a game in California.
"I landed at DIA got on a bus and that's the last thing I remember," he said.
The bus crashed at the airport, killing the driver, injuring 15 students, and three coaches. Kroupa was the most severely hurt.
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"I was in a wheel chair for three months because I shattered my hip, shattered my jaw and probably my biggest injury was my brain," said Kroupa.
Kroupa suffered from a traumatic brain injury and was in a coma for more than a week.
It's no coincidence six months later his first day back was the first day of practice with the unified basketball team made up of general and special education kids.
"It's great nice to see him again. Good recovery nice to see him back," said Nick Aragon, who made the winning shot Friday night.
"I will be ok. These kids have been struggling for their entire lives. I have been struggling only for six months," said Kroupa.
Tuesday the team barely edged out their opponent but Kroupa's focus was elsewhere. He says coming back to Legacy is coming back to his second home.
Kroupa says he's easing back into work with plans to ramp up to full time.
As for coaching, it depends on his family life since he and his wife are expecting their third baby next month.
The Legacy High unified basketball team won their first two games with Coach Kroupa back on the court by the same score 54 to 53.
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