By Kim Brooks, Express Editor
Ignite: Jones County Young Professionals will be hosting a motivational speaking event on Tuesday, March 26, featuring Aaron Thomas, son of the late Ed Thomas.
Ed Thomas is the former Aplington-Parkersburg football coach who was sadly shot by one of his former football players. The Thomas family has been instrumental in keeping Ed Thomas’ memory alive through speaking events and a new book titled “The Sacred Acre,” which chronicles the accomplishments of Ed Thomas’ life and discusses the family’s reaction to the tragic event that took their father and husband’s life.
Ed was a beloved high school coach who not only trained generations of players on the importance of hard work, dedication, excellence and commitment, but personally put these values into action when he was the community leader who inspired this town to rebuild after a deadly EF5 tornado ripped through Parkersburg.
Aaron Thomas attended A-P High School and was raised in Parkersburg. After college and a few teaching jobs around the state, he came back to A-P to carry on his father’s legacy. Not only does he teach at A-P, but Aaron is also the head basketball coach, athletic director, assistant football coach and director of student services.
“A life lesson my father once told us, it’s real easy to be a leader when everything’s going your way,” Aaron was quoted as saying. “Your true character and who you are as a person are revealed in a challenge.”
Aaron continues his father’s legacy that he built in being both a school leader and an example in his hometown.
Aaron has a passion for impacting lives and public speaking is one way he can do so. He tells an incredible story of ordinary people thrust into an extraordinary situation. He shares his family’s journey of showing uncommon strength during dark times. Aaron speaks on how to deal with adversity, marking the most of all opportunities and the power of one. He challenges people to look at their lives, their family and their job to see if they are making a difference.
The Thomas family was awarded the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage during the 2010 ESPY Awards. Aaron himself received the Missouri Valley Conference 2010 Most Courageous Award.
To learn more about Aaron Thomas and his family, visit
He will be speaking at Monticello High School in the auditorium on March 26, from 7 to 8 p.m. Tickets are just $5; free to all Ignite members. You can purchase tickets at the following locations: Rick Meyer State Farm, Ohnward Bank & Trust, Innovative Ag Services, ITS, HCH Real Estate and JRMC. For more information, contact Kelly Gibbs at 319-462-3542 or Rick Meyer at 319-465-4267.
This event is sponsored by Jones Regional Medical Center and Maquoketa Valley Electric Cooperative.