A Coach’s Coach – An Invitation from One of My Runners

What follows is a letter to all. I pass this along because it hits home – as a coach, for sport, and for a runner touched so deeply by a coach. It is just such a person as Ed Thomas that most coaches aspire to be like – to make a difference in people’s lives – even beyond sport. There are many causes and I know everyone gets “hit up” to donate. And though I do hope this invitation will stimulate fund raising efforts; regardless – please send healing thoughts and prayers to the community as well as the family and former athletes.

Dear Family, Friends, and Colleagues:

Parkersburg, Iowa is my hometown that was hit by an EF5 tornado on May 25, 2008. But an even larger loss occurred last month on June 24th, 2009 -our long time teacher and coach, Ed Thomas was shot and killed in our Parkersburg High School weight room by a former football player. It was national news. I have known Coach Thomas since I was in Kindergarten. He was not only our football coach, but also our Social Studies/Econ. teacher, Driver’s Ed. Instructor, and Athletic Director. Along with his other duties he was also the High School Boy’s Track Coach. He taught and coached for 37 years. This past year, after the tornado, he was instrumental in rebuilding the community and giving hope led by his example of strong faith and commitment to his family, school, and community.

[DMH – For more of his story read the current issue of Sports Illustrated – he’s on the cover.]

On Sunday, October 18th, “Team Thomas” will join together to run the IMT Des Moines IA Marathon, Half-Marathon, and Marathon Relay. “Team Thomas” will be running in memory of Aplington-Parkersburg’s Coach Ed Thomas. All proceeds will go to the Ed Thomas Trust Fund. The TEAM goal has been set at $10,000. My individual fundraising goal is $500. I will be running the Half-Marathon.

Coach Thomas was a role model we all learned from. He kept his faith and family first and had an incredible passion for the game of football. Mr. Thomas always brought the best out of his players and students, while constantly seeing the good within everyone he came in contact with. He was never satisfied with status quo and motivated many to achieve and succeed in all walks of life. He was one of the greatest motivators I’ve ever known and I simply want to honor him the best way I can. Coach Thomas was simply the best and by contributing to his trust fund, Team Thomas hopes to see his good work and leadership continue.

Click here to watch Coach Thomas speak to his team before the first home football game after the tornado

Click here to watch the speech Coach Thomas presented at the “KCRG Athlete of the Week” year-end banquet

If you would consider donating to the cause, checks of any amount can be written to the Ed Thomas Memorial Trust Fund and sent to:
Jan Perry Lockett
2992 S. Holguin Way
Chandler, AZ 85286

Feel free to pass this along to anyone who may want to donate to this cause. ALL proceeds will go to the trust fund! Thanks in advance for your consideration.


About Dean Hebert

I’m a mental game coach, author and speaker. I work with individual athletes, parents, coaches, and teams on sports performance enhancement. Beyond my academic post-graduate work in sports psychology - the psychology behind athlete performance – I am a certified Mental Games Coaching Professional (MGCP) and certified hypnotherapist. I’ve authored several books and hundreds of articles. “Coach, I didn’t run because…” (2008) is a seriously light-hearted look at making excuses not to workout and how to overcome them. “Focus for Fitness” (2009) and “Screw the Goals Give me the Donut” (2010) are two of my eBooks on mental game approaches for the everyday athlete. I wrote these because I believe that everyone can benefit from the powerful mental techniques that the world’s best athletes use. I have been cited in Runners World, Best Health magazine (CN), SWEAT Magazine, and the Washington Examiner amongst many other publications. I have been a featured mental games coach in Runner’s World and for the internationally acclaimed trail running resource - trailrunningclub.com. I also regularly appear on sports and fitness talk shows such as LTKFitness, Runnersroundtable and for more than three years I have co-hosted a weekly video series with Coach Joe English for Running-Advice.com. I specialize in mental toughness training. My clients include tennis, synchronized swimming, golf, race-kart, soccer, motocross, volleyball, MMA, cycling (road, off-road, time-trialist), running, duathlon and triathlon, basketball, football and baseball athletes. I have coached world-class athletes and athletes internationally. I have a passion for working with youth athletes and helping them apply mental game skills and techniques to all areas of life. Most importantly, my aim is to have people enjoy sports and life to their fullest through peak performances.
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