OAK RIDGE, La. – Former Miami University hockey player Jon Whitacre passed away Thursday, July 18 at the young age of 28 when a small, single-engine plane he was flying crashed in a field in Louisiana.
Whitacre, who was a three-year goalie for the RedHawks from 2006-09, was a student pilot working towards earning his pilot’s license from flight school. The instructor in the plane with Whitacre, 75-year-old Clarence Collins, also died in the crash. The cause of the crash is not yet known.
Whitacre graduated with a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Miami in August 2010. He served as the RedHawks’ third-string goaltender and appeared in one game on Feb. 15, 2007 against Robert Morris, making one save. He was also a member of the 2008-09 National Runner-Up Miami squad that was the first in program history to reach the NCAA Frozen Four.
“Jon was a very dedicated and passionate young man who cared deeply about Miami Hockey,” Miami head coach Enrico Blasi said. “This is a terrible tragedy and his loss will be felt by our entire program. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family.”
Whitacre, who resided in Rayville, La., was born on March 6, 1985 and was a native of Indianapolis, Ind. He is survived by his parents, Bob and Nancy, brothers Rob and Jay, sister Elizabeth, and other extended family.
Services for Whitacre will be held on Wednesday, July 24 at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in Indianapolis (100 W. 86th St.). A visitation will be held at noon ET followed by the funeral service at 2 p.m. ET.