Below are comments issued by leaders across Iowa following the death of Coach Ed Thomas.
Gov. Chet Culver
"I couldn't be more shocked or saddened by the death of Coach Thomas. My thoughts and prayers are with Coach Thomas' family, the entire Parkersburg community, and all those who played for and loved this outstanding Iowan.
"As a former high school football coach, I've always had great admiration and respect for Coach Thomas. The state and national coaching fraternity has suffered a devastating loss. As we mourn the passing of Coach Thomas, it is my hope we can all continue to learn from his example."
Iowa Senator Bill Heckroth
"Please take time today to pray for Ed Thomas' family and all of those who mourn his death today. I got to know Coach Thomas and his wife, Jan, through their son, Todd, who is a co-worker of mine at Financial Architects.
"We've suffered the tragic loss of a wonderful husband, father, teacher coach, friend, and community leader. All Iowans should be inspired by the way Ed lived his life and celebrate his accomplishments and the accomplishments he helped his students and community achieve."
Chris Bern, President of the Iowa State Education Association
"The entire education community mourns the senseless loss today of beloved Aplington-Parkersburg football coach Ed Thomas. Educators are a tight-knit community in Iowa and Coach Thomas served more than 30 years with us. He was loved and revered for his leadership, his strength, his mentoring, and his dedication. His students and fellow educators will miss him dearly. This is a terrible tragedy and our hearts go out to Coach Thomas's family, the students and members of the school community who witnessed this horrible act, and the Aplington-Parkersburg community during this difficult time."
Rep. Bruce Braley
"I'm shocked and saddened by the senseless death of Coach Ed Thomas. This is a tremendous loss for the town of Parkersburg and the entire state of Iowa. His death will leave a deep void in the community he loved and in the countless people he inspired throughout his life.
"My thoughts and prayers are with Coach Thomas' family and the people of Parkersburg during this difficult time."
Sen. Tom Harkin
"I was shocked to hear of the senseless death of Ed Thomas. In this time of sorrow, my thoughts are with his family and the entire Parkersburg community."