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ed thomasWe are very saddened and disappointed to hear about this loss for the town of Parkersburg.  We’re Hawkeye alums and remember hearing about Coach Thomas a few times during our time in Iowa.  We didn’t know more about him until ESPN ran the story last year about the school and it’s recovery from the tornado that ravaged the town.  Sadly, we wish that we had.

The shooter was Mark Becker.  He’s a 24-year-old former player for Coach Thomas.  We heard during the press conference that Becker was involved in a high speed chase earlier this week in Cedar Falls but the police chose not to expand on that.  This is all the information that is available about Becker currently and it was given by Kevin Winker, the assistant director of criminal investigations in Iowa.

After reading about Ed Thomas’ past, it’s clear that this is a great loss for the school, the players, the town and the entire state of Iowa.  He was a coach for about 30 years and sent 4 players to the NFL, including Aaron Kampman of the Green Bay Packers.  In 2005, he won the NFL’s high school coach of the year award and attended the Super Bowl in Detroit.  A quote from the superintendant of the school system in Parkersburg sums up Ed Thomas well:

He was a good football coach, but he was an even better role model.

Guys like this are hard to come by.  The school plans on holding a vigil tonight outside at the football stadium to honor their fallen Coach.  If any more information becomes available, we’ll update this post and put as many links as possible in this afternoon’s Points of Interest.

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