My rants are usually about things in sports that irk me or things that I think should be discussed with sports fans.  Today the Rants take on a very different perspective.  Today my Rants column is a tribute and written in memory of Ed Thomas.

It was reported earlier today by ESPN that Ed Thomas was shot and killed.  For those of you that do not know Ed Thomas he is the top high school football coach in the state of Iowa.  Ed Thomas has produced several players that went on to play in the NFL and some great high school teams.  Ed Thomas however is more than a football coach. He was truly a special person.

This morning the gunman, Mark Becker, a former student and athlete, approached Ed in the gym of the high school and shot him multiple times.  Ed was airlifted to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.  Although there were approximately 50 other people to include students in the high school the gunman just shot Coach Thomas.

Ed Thomas was the 2005 NFL High School coach of the year and could work wonders with a high school football program, but the residents in his community know him for much more than a coach, they know him as a hero.

In 2008 when a Tornado ripped through the town nearly destroying everything in site it was Ed Thomas that led the charge in repairing the town and bringing the community together.  Ed with the help of some former NFL players rallied to repair the high school that was destroyed to include the football field.  The town used football as inspiration to get back on to their feet after such a devastating storm.  Even though Ed lost everything to include his house and cars, his care for the community and football motivated him to move on.  The community in turn rallied around him in what truly is an inspiration story.

What happened today is sickening and tragic.  Today we lost a great coach and a great person. Rest in Peace Ed.