Wednesday, June 24, 2009


You may be wondering why a story about a high school football coach is such huge news. There are a couple different reasons.

For starters, this particular coach was shot by a "young assailant" in his school's weight room.

Also, the coach is Ed Thomas, a former NFL High School Coach of the Year from Parkersburg, Iowa. If the town of Parkersburg sounds familiar, it's probably because of a tornado that destroyed a large part of the town last year.

The Des Moines Register and MSNBC are both reporting that Thomas has died.

Thomas coached at Parkersburg for over 30 years. He tutored guys who would move on to the college football and beyond, including four active NFL players. Packer Aaron Kampman is among them, and he was one of the first in line to help last year after the tornado.
"There's so much devastation, you can't look at the big picture," said Kampman, a native of nearby Kesley. "You've got to look at the small victories. That's been (the residents') rallying cry." After being overjoyed that his extended family was spared from true peril --- Claas Kampman, 71, is stabilizing in a Waterloo hospital after being "injured pretty good" --- Aaron Kampman feels compelled to help others who were far less fortunate in this ravaged area. "The Packers are going to do something (to fund raise)," said Kampman, a 1998 Aplington-Parkersburg graduate, speaking late Tuesday in a phone interview while traveling to Green Bay. "This is an opportunity," Kampman added, "to get as much help (from) all the different circles of influence that people like myself have found themselves in."
Thomas is credited with helping lead the town back after the tornado. Part of that was an effort he undertook to restore the school's football field for the 2008 season, in the face of the fact his own house was destroyed in the storm.


Anonymous said...

Hey Bruce,

Huge news here in Eastern Iowa. Trying to find more information about the motive and the shooter.

An awful day for one of the most prominent HS football towns in the state.

- Chris Earl, Cedar Rapids

arizona bankruptcy attorney said...

I have been hoping you would post a follow up story. Did I miss it?