A Coaching Legend is No More

Blogging is a fun hobby; I enjoy writing about the NFL and the Chicago Bears in particular. However, posts like these are never easy or fun to write.

Aplington-Parkersburg (IA) head football coach Ed Thomas was shot in the head five times at point-blank range this morning while supervising a lifting session at the high school. He died a short time later. Football players were in the weight room when the shooting occured.

You may be wondering why this story is showing up on a Chicago Bears blog. First, the towns of Aplington and Parkersburg are less than twenty minutes from where I live. Second, he's a football coaching legend in Iowa. He's coached four NFL players from a town of 1,900 (Aaron Kampman, Brad Meester, Jared DeVries, and Casey Wiegmann). Even though his house was destroyed in the F-5 tornado last year, he helped rebuild the town and made sure the football team would have a place to play last fall. He knew how much watching the team would mean to the town's residents. I know the last statement seems rather fake and cheesy, but it was something the town could (and did) rally around. For a town still reeling from that devastating tornado, this isn't the best news to hear.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Thomas family and the towns of Aplington and Parkersburg.

Link to the E:60 clip of Parkersburg rebuilding after the tornado last year.

KCCI-TV is reporting the suspect is Mark Becker, 24, from Parkersburg.

Becker was involved in a high-speed chase last Saturday. After he was arrested and charged with first-degree murder, he was taken to the hospital for a psychiatric evaluation.

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